Federal funding to reduce elder abuse in Peel

Lauran Jenkins, Bill Robinson, Annette Hurton and Stacey Layton
offer advice to seniors in the Peel region.
Lauran Jenkins, Bill Robinson, Annette Hurton and Stacey Layton offer advice to seniors in the Peel region.

A NEW program helping to reduce the incidence and severity of elder abuse in Peel is gaining momentum after a multi-million dollar commitment by the Federal Government.

Run by Relationships Australia WA, the Peel Senior Relationship Service helps seniors make informed decisions on a range of ageing-related issues and encourages stronger, safer family relationships.

The program supports those experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, elder abuse in any form – whether it be financial, emotional, sexual, physical or mental.

It provides individual case management and mediation and helps link seniors to support.

In March, the Federal Government pledged $18 million over four years to fund the program and 12 other service trials across Australia as part of its National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians.

The commitment gives Peel residents free access to support – something many have been quick to take advantage of, Relationships Australia WA’s Peel branch manager Bill Robinson said.

“Since the Peel Senior Relationship Service was introduced, we’ve had a really strong response from people seeking support for a range of ageing-related issues,” Mr Robinson said.

“This demonstrates how important the service is in an area like Peel where the population is aging and instances of elder abuse are perhaps more prevalent than elsewhere.

“In Mandurah, nearly 23 per cent of the population is over 65, whereas across WA that number is 14 per cent.

“It’s really important elderly residents know how the Peel Senior Relationship Service can help them.

“The service supports individuals and families struggling with the complexities of ageing, including things like life stage planning, the breakdown of family relationships, grief and loss, family conflict and a range of other issues common among older Australians.

“Each case is managed individually and confidentially, and through early intervention we hope to empower seniors to better protect themselves, their finances and their relationships.”

Mr Robinson said it was important to recognise elder abuse took different forms, including financial, emotional, sexual, physical or mental.

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