- 2019-20 State Budget will include $1.2 million additional funding to tackle elder abuse
- State Budget commitment forms part of wider $2.3 million package to address elder abuse
- WA Elder Abuse Helpline to receive more resources
- New training packages for professionals working with seniors; new awareness and education resources for the community
The 2019-20 State Budget will deliver a $1.2 million boost towards raising awareness of elder abuse, with the WA Elder Abuse Helpline set to receive more resources to support its important work tackling the growing issue.
The $1.2 million State Budget commitment forms part of the McGowan Government's new $2.3 million package to combat elder abuse.
Resources will also be directed towards providing training initiatives to help professionals who work with seniors identify suspected abuse, new education and awareness resources for the community, and a range of further measures.
The WA Elder Abuse Helpline is in many cases the first port of call for vulnerable seniors who suspect they may be experiencing elder abuse.
The hotline, run by service provider Advocare with State Government support, provides confidential advice for older people who may not have close friends or family to confide in with cases of suspected abuse.
Increased support for Western Australia's local helpline is critical, especially in light of the Federal Liberal Government's recent decision to launch a new hotline number without any corresponding funding support.
With elder abuse victims sometimes socially isolated and reliant on their abuser for help with daily tasks, the State Government will develop new training packages to help professionals who work in the banking, health and community services sectors to identify and report suspected elder abuse.
Elder abuse continues to be misunderstood in the community, and a new education and awareness package will continue the McGowan Government's work to elevate the issue in the minds of the public.
Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray:
"Elder abuse is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue in the community as our population ages and more seniors come to rely on friends and family for support.
"Unfortunately in some cases people exploit these relationships, which can lead to financial, psychological or physical elder abuse.
"The WA Elder Abuse Helpline is a lifeline for seniors experiencing elder abuse and it is very important that it has the resources it needs.
"The Federal Government's recent move to set up a new national hotline number, but provide no funding to support it, means the State Government has had to step up and provide that support.
"The training packages will provide professionals who work with seniors the tools to identify and report suspected abuse. Bank workers, for example, would be helped to identify customers potentially experiencing financial elder abuse.
"The new education and awareness campaign will work to educate the public about elder abuse, which remains a largely misunderstood issue in our communities.
"This funding package will be followed by the release of a more comprehensive WA Elder Abuse Strategy in the second half of this year, which will complement the significant funding package in the upcoming State Budget."
Minister's office - 6552 6400