I am happy to report that, with my strong networks throughout Melbourne’s aged care facilities, I have been able to place many clients into suitable care. They are often thrilled that I am able to negotiate a place for them much faster than they or their families have been able to do on their own. The secret to my success is, I believe, my strong listening skills because this enables me to fully understand people’s needs when seeking aged care accommodation. As I work closely with my clients, assessing all their needs so I can find them the most suitable accommodation options, I have developed a unique perspective on elder abuse.

During my many years as an Aged Care Placement Consultant I have occasionally been involved in placements where I have become aware that my client has been abused. As an advocate for my clients I am very interested in this subject. I want to be able to recognise all forms of abuse and know the correct pathway for either dealing with the abuse or reporting the abuse to the correct organisation.

To this end I recently attended the 4th National Elder Abuse Conference in Melbourne. The Conference concluded with the Commonwealth Government establishing a National Inquiry into Elder Abuse. Senator George Brandis announced this initiative, stating , “it sometimes seems that not a day goes by without a report of an assault, a scam or some other mistreatment involving taking advantage of an older Australian. All Australians have the right to make their own decision, to live self-determined lives, to live with dignity and free from exploitation, violence and abuse. Those rights do not diminish with age.”

He went on to say, “Transforming cultural attitudes and fostering intergenerational respect is central to combatting abuse.”

Other speakers pointed out that ageism was the basis of elder abuse and a concerted effort must be made to counter it. I agree and I wish that everyone could meet some of my clients and appreciate what wonderful people they are.

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