Leading the way in elder abuse prevention – (BPA Op-ed)
Better Place Australia believes our aged care system may deprive the older person of the ability to make independent decisions pertaining to their life. Our psychological services are leading elder abuse prevention, supporting residents in 120 aged care facilities across Victoria. We heard how many residents struggled with the transition from independent living because their capacity for self-determination was diminished.
There is an urgent need for a clearer process to allow the older person to retain their dignity and autonomy by involving them in conversations and decisions on matters important to them. We are also deeply concerned over the prevalence of ageism in our society. A big part of our work involves championing the social inclusion and active participation of older people in our communities.
We co-funded the Framing Age Messaging Guide, a project led by a consortium of multi-agency Elder Abuse Prevention Networks (EAPNs), that focuses on how to talk about age, ageing and issues affecting the older person, in a way that reduces ageist attitudes, stereotypes and behaviours.
The Southern Melbourne Elder Abuse Prevention Network (SMEAPN), hosted by BPA and in collaboration with other organisations, then followed up with a social media campaign to further promote this messaging. We still have a long way to go in closing gaps within the aged care system but we remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce ageism and create a more inclusive society for people of all ages.