A recent Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) report: Elder Abuse – a National Legal Response, has highlighted the growing number of examples of serious physical abuse, financial abuse, neglect and exploitation of older people.
In response, attorney-general Christian Porter said the Federal government would adopt a national plan to address the risk of abuse facing an increasing number of people as they age.
The government’s National Plan has five goals:
1. promote the autonomy and agency of older people;
2. address ageism and promote community understanding of elder abuse;
3. achieve national consistency;
4. safeguard at-risk older people and improve responses; and
5. build the evidence basis.
The ALRC report outlines the need to protect older Australians through:
improved responses to elder abuse in residential aged care;
enhanced employment screening of care workers;
greater scrutiny regarding the use of restrictive practices in aged care;
building trust and confidence in enduring documents as important advanced planning tools;
protecting older people when ‘assets for care’ arrangements go wrong;
banks and financial institutions protecting vulnerable customers from abuse;
better succession planning across the self-managed superannuation sector;
adult safeguarding regimes protecting and supporting at-risk adults.