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Preventing elder abuse and neglect

Preventing elder abuse and neglect

Services focussed on preventing elder abuse and neglect, will receive a significant funding boost, Senior Citizens Minister Ruth Dyson announced today.

Budget 2005 has committed a total of $3 million over four years to strengthen, improve and expand services in elder abuse and neglect prevention. Annual funding for each prevention service will increase by 39% meaning the average funding increases from $34,000 to $47,000 per service.

A total of $89,000 a year goes to services with very high delivery costs due to geographic or cultural reasons, or high caseload demands.

“Elder abuse and neglect prevention services have been under pressure from service delivery costs and this extra funding will help ease that,” Ruth Dyson said.

Another $164,000 in 2005/06 and $156,000 in 2006/07 and subsequent years have been earmarked to strengthen national co-ordination.

“The extra funding will fund national and regional forums, induction training for new co-ordinators, regular staff training, and additional national resources. It will also help increase public awareness of the problems of elder abuse.

“The funding will specifically expand services into the Horowhenua and Taupo, where a need for services has been highlighted,” Ruth Dyson said.

To address problems of financial abuse of older people, Ruth Dyson flagged changes to the Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) provisions under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988.

“I am considering changes to the Act that give older people better protection by: making EPAs follow a more considered and careful process addressing some of the technical provisions, such as gifting, and provide greater emphasis on the attorney consulting with the donor improving access to the Courts when abuse occurs.

“Abuse of older people, of any form, is unacceptable. This new funding and the policy work ahead, demonstrates our commitment to removing the incentives and vehicles for abuse,” Ruth Dyson said.

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