Older members of the Western Australian community will be provided further protection from elder abuse following a funding increase to support services.
The Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre (NSCLC) will be allocated funding for an elder abuse peer education program while Council on the Ageing WA (COTA WA) will be funded as a peak body for vulnerable older people.
The NSCLC will receive funding of $130,000 which will be used to connect specially trained older volunteers with older members of the community. The program will focus on positive ageing, combatting ageism and reducing elder abuse.
The McGowan Government will also provide funding of $240,000 to COTA WA which will help protect seniors, particularly those in harder to reach groups such as Aboriginal people, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Isolation and physical distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have meant some seniors have been more vulnerable to online scams and elder abuse.
COTA WA has been supporting older people for many years, and has been given a specific brief for advocacy on issues facing vulnerable older people.
As stated by Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray:
“Elder abuse can involve financial, social, physical, psychological and emotional abuse.
“The effects can be devastating – physically, psychologically and financially.
“An important part of the peer education program is that older volunteers will be supported to provide information to older people in the community.
“The peak body will provide crucial information and support to older Western Australians by connecting them with service providers and government agencies. Resources relating to technology, scams, elder abuse and other important issues will also be available.”