Health justice partnership to act on elder abuse

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Eastern Health and Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC) have partnered to provide a new support system to people experiencing elder abuse across Melbourne’s east.

One of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society is elder abuse. Elder abuse is a form of family violence, and is a global social issue which affects the health, well-being, independence and human rights of millions of older people around the world. Many older people experience mistreatment from people close to them, often their family members with little recognition or response.

Examples of elder abuse can include but is not limited to physical abuse, sexual assault, financial abuse and neglect.

Eastern Health Executive Director, Clinical Operations Shannon Wight said Eastern Health has a crucial role to play to work with older people who are experiencing or at risk of abuse.

“This health justice partnership ensures that our health service builds on work already underway within Eastern Health to better identify and respond to older people experiencing abuse, while maintaining their right to making choices about how their safety is protected. I look forward to seeing the benefits that it will deliver for our patients,” she said.

ECLC Chief Executive Officer Michael Smith said “While ECLC has provided free legal advice and other resources for the past decade to help prevent elder abuse in the community, this funding will enable ECLC and Eastern Health to identify and respond to elder abuse as early as possible.”

By entering into this partnership, Eastern Health and Eastern Community Legal Centre will trial, develop and promote a service where healthcare and social workers are trained to identify and refer older people to appropriate services, and specialised legal support services will be provided in partnership with Eastern Health.

Eastern Health made the partnership announcement at their Elder Abuse Awareness Forum on June 11, which featured several speakers including Age Discrimination Commissioner, The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO, Victoria Police, Carers Victoria and Eastern Community Legal Centre.


Media contact:

Eastern Health – Chris Reid, Media and Publications Coordinator – (03) 9092 6771