Dispelling the inheritance entitlement myth – (Op-ed)
The campaign seeks to dispel common myths stemming from a sense of entitlement to an older relatives’ assets or our future inheritance.
Elder abuse is quickly becoming its own pandemic. Financial elder abuse is the most common form of elder abuse; close to two-thirds of Victorians are victims of this insidious type of abuse. Ageism is a constant driving factor of elder abuse, made worse by lockdowns and social distancing.
The Frankston Mornington Peninsula Respecting Senior’s Network is working hard to challenge ageism locally and create the change needed for everyone to feel respected and safe. Network Coordinator, Natasha Spicer says, “ageism is well ingrained in our society, with older people routinely dismissed, forgotten, neglected and abused.
“Fixing ageism involves a far larger response than that of a grassroots local network of impassioned individuals and organisations like ours,” Ms Spicer says. “It’s attitudes like a sense of entitlement to assets or inheritance that are born out of deep seated ageism in our society, that we must change”.
The campaign is being showcased by the Victorian Government at its World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event, hosted by Minister for Disability Ageing and Carers, the Hon. Luke Donnellan MP tomorrow morning. “Our network is one of ten elder abuse prevention networks across Victoria, supported by the Victorian Government. There are also many other state and national advocacy bodies and groups chipping away at this issue”, Ms Spicer confirms.
The campaign has also attracted the support of the Australian Human Rights Commission, being virtually launched by the Australian Age Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Kay Patterson AO. “Our collective efforts are creating ripples, but what we really need is to make waves”, says Ms Spicer. “None of us are immune to ageing. We all want to be respected throughout our lives. Put quite simply, ending ageism is of critical importance to us all.”
The Inheritance Not an Entitlement campaign has produced seven short film clips, busting common myths about elder abuse. This includes myths that elder abuse is only physical or that it mainly occurs in nursing homes, when in fact the most common forms of abuse are financial and emotional exploitation, perpetrated at home by trusted family members.
The Frankston Mornington Peninsula Respecting Seniors Network is a growing movement of organisations and individuals seeking to live and work in a community where people of all ages are respected and able to live free from violence in all its forms.
The Frankston Mornington Peninsula Respecting Seniors Network acknowledges the contributions of network members, Peninsula Community Legal Centre for its key role in developing the campaign, and Better Place Australia in supporting the promotion of the Inheritance: Not An Entitlement campaign.