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Elder Abuse Is A Serious National Problem

Media Release

Age Concern New Zealand

August 14, 2012

Elder Abuse Is A Serious National Problem Age Concern Is Committed To Stamping Out.

Today, approximately 45 staff from around New Zealand will converge on Wellington for two days of intensive training.

Age Concern’s elder abuse prevention expert, Louise Collins, says staff will leave Wellington better equipped to combat abuse and neglect.

Elder abuse can happen in different ways. It can be threats or coercion; physical abuse – hitting older people, or locking them in; depriving them of social contact or not providing the care they need. It can be financial abuse – using their money or possessions without their consent.

Research by the ‘It’s Not Ok’ campaign has shown that New Zealanders want to help in family violence situations but aren’t sure what to do.

“Most of the elder abuse Age Concern sees happens in families, hidden from the rest of the community,” Collins says.

“Older people tell us that having someone else beside them, encouraging them to speak out, letting them know it is ok to ask for help, makes a huge difference.”

Elder abuse prevention is a specialist area, which Collins says makes this kind of specialist training invaluable.

Collins expects sessions around legal issues and also on delivery of service within Maori communities will be especially beneficial.

“We hope staff will go back invigorated and having learnt new skills to improve their practice. They will also be more familiar with using the resources Age Concern New Zealand provide.”

Age Concern staff are at the frontline of dealing with older people in what are often complex and emotional situations.

Collins says this forum helps staff from Kaitaia to Invercargill make connections, put faces to names and know who to call for support and advice.


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