Attendees at the World Elder Abuse Awareness Lunch.

Published on 16 June 2022

Combatting elder abuse

Residents from across Onkaparinga came together yesterday to observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and promote the rights of older people.

The international United Nations-observed day is held each year on 15 June to raise awareness of the issue, which the World Health Organisation defines as "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship, where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person."

City of Onkaparinga's Active Ageing and Disability Team hosted its World Elder Abuse Awareness Lunch at Wakefield House positive ageing centre yesterday, which was aimed at sharing information on the rights of older people, what elder abuse is, the signs of elder abuse and where to go to for support.

Attended by Acting Mayor Simon McMahon and a guest speaker from the state government's Office for Ageing Well, the event attracted more than 55 people who enjoyed a subsidised $5 lunch and entertainment by Garry Stillwell.

City of Onkaparinga Social Wellbeing Coordinator Lisa Elder said the lunch was part of council's strong commitment to building a connected and supportive community.

"Elder abuse is a prevailing community, social, health and workforce issue and we must all work together to fight against it," she said.

"The impacts of COVID-19 and the feelings of loneliness and isolation has certainly been felt around the world.”

"Now more than ever we should continue to raise awareness of elder abuse and speak up to help stop it – there is no excuse for abuse.”

"We understand the importance of raising awareness and helping the community to recognise the signs."

City of Onkaparinga continues to share information on the rights of older people through:

  • community lunches
  • guest speakers
  • displaying posters in libraries, community centres and positive ageing centres
  • social media
  • information to staff, volunteers, our networks and support workers.

Council also offers a wide range of free workshops throughout the year that aim to build wellbeing, confidence, resilience and self-esteem. This year has seen the roll-out of three new workshop programs:

  • Living Well Matters, which covers sleep, brain health, food and movement for ageing well.
  • Life Gardeners, which provides a guide to resilience in later life.
  • Advanced Care Directives, offering participants the chance to learn more about the legal document that empowers individuals to make clear arrangements for their future health care, end of life, preferred living plans and other personal matters to protect them against abuse when they're unable to communicate or make their wishes known.

For more information on these workshops contact Judith Lowe on 8384 0161.