Guaranteed funding to combat elder abuse at Advocare in Vic Park

Advocare chief executive Diedre Timms with Advocare advocate Wendy taking a call.  Picture: David Baylis
Advocare chief executive Diedre Timms with Advocare advocate Wendy taking a call. Picture: David Baylis

A HELPLINE for vulnerable seniors has been given an extended guarantee after government funding was given to a Victoria Park advocacy group.

Advocare, which offers confidential advice and services for vulnerable seniors, received a $150,000 per year funding guarantee from the State Government last month.

“The best part of the funding is it’s a five-year contract and we’ve been running the WA Elder Abuse helpline since 2014,” Advocare chief executive Diedre Timms said.

“It’s been one-year contracts and we’ve had to negotiate, not knowing the security of the funding means it’s quite difficult to hold staff.”

Ms Timms estimated the number of calls to the Helpline this financial year would rise to about 1000.

“I put it down to increased awareness of what’s actually happening, because it has been quite topical,” she said.

“People don’t necessarily understand elder abuse… the most obvious ones for us is financial abuse, where adult children think that they can take the resources off their parents.”

Ms Timms said World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Saturday would be an important opportunity to make progress in abolishing all forms of elder abuse.

“It’s going to take time to get there but I think we need to keep that as a vision and a goal,” she said.

“We live in a very ageist society, where older people aren’t valued and respected for the contribution they’ve made.”