Abuse of older people is a complex and sometimes hidden problem in Australia and is not isolated to coastal or major population centres.
Elder Abuse National Research Project, established to help build on the growing body of knowledge on the issue, is seeking input from our communities.
The project is being led by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).
Rachel Carson, Manager of the Family Law and Family Violence Team at AIFS says all communities across Australia need to provide localised input into the current investigation.
“As older people make up an increasing proportion of the Australian population the potential reach of the abuse of older people may grow.”
“To protect older people from abuse, we must first be able to identify and measure the extent of the problem.”
The Elder Abuse National Research Project consists of three components:
Component One: Develop an Australian definition of “elder abuse”.
Component Two: Test data collection tools against the definition, to see if it will work for the Australian context
Component Three: Analyse the data to help answer key questions about the abuse of older people.
Dr Carson says the group is keen to make sure that they measure the right things in the future.
“We’ve been speaking with a range of interested people, including community advocates, policy makers and service providers to help inform our research focusing on the definition of “elder abuse”.
Anyone who would like to contribute their views about what defines abuse of older people can contact the project team before the end of January by email: firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) or phone (03) 9214 7865.
The project will be completed by 30 June 2018 and is funded by the Australian Government’s Attorney General’s Department.
AIFS is conducting the research in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute, the Social Research Centre and the Social Policy Research Centre.