TDHS Elder Abuse

Warm Safe Home Project launched to help protect our elders

Photo:  (l-r) Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Gerard Mansour with Senior Rights Victoria education officer Gary Ferguson, Beryl Garrow, Barbara Yeoman, Alwyn Couch (Social Support Group members) and Elder Abuse Prevention Project Worker – Becky Nevin Berger.

Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS) has helped launch a new project to protect the dignity, safety and respect of elderly members of the community.

The Warm Safe Home Project was launched at two seperate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day events held in Timboon and Warrnambool.

It aims to start conversations about older people’s rights to feel safe in their homes. Community groups, aged care centres, schools, and men’s shed from around the region will take part in the community art project.

More than 500 handcrafted paper houses along with a series of timber model houses will be created in time for public display on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020.

TDHS Community Health Nurse Amanda Nash said Timboon’s event was held on Thursday, June 20 and was hosted by the TDHS Social Support Group.

“Our program included professional education sessions for our staff followed by an afternoon event for community members,” she said.

“The Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Gerard Mansour, presented a keynote address which was really well received and provoked plenty of emotion and awareness of the issue of elder abuse.”

Senior Rights Victoria education officer Gary Ferguson was also on hand and presented an education session. He discussed the causes of elder abuse and the services provided by Seniors Rights Victoria to help people experiencing  it.”

Mr Mansour said that as the population aged, elder abuse was becoming more prevalent and a whole of community approach was required for its prevention and remediation.

“The natural processes of ageing make older people more vulnerable to loneliness. This not only increases health risks associated with loneliness, which rival smoking and obesity, but may increase the risk of elder abuse,” he said.

“Elder abuse is any act that causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they trust such as a family member, friend, or carer. Elder abuse is primarily a form of family violence with 92 per cent of abuse perpetrators either related or in a de facto relationship with the victim, with 66.8 per cent being an adult child of the victim.”

Elder abuse can be physical, emotional (psychological), sexual, and financial. It can also be social in which the victim is purposefully isolated from friends, other social contact, and even services. Neglect, whether intentional and unintentional, is a form of elder abuse too.

For more information contact Elder Abuse Prevention Project Worker – Becky Nevin Berger via email on or 0408 876 117.

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