A group of community and in-home aged care providers in the Shire are encouraging older people to be careful with their personal information during the COVID-19 lockdown and seek help if they are being harmed in their own homes.
The Collaborative Against the Abuse of Older People in Sutherland Shire has produced a flyer [attached], which is being distributed through GPs and chemists, as well as community services that provide services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and Home Care Packages. The information campaign is the latest in an ongoing series of projects since the Collaborative formed in 2016 to support aged care in the community.
“Our staff and volunteers in the field work very hard to identify and respond to signs of abuse and neglect in our clients, but we’re not seeing many of them at the moment because our social activities are closed, and frankly we are concerned”, according to Collaborative Chair, Melinda Paterson, who is also the Manager of Engadine Community Services.
“All the risk factors that make older people vulnerable to physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse and neglect have been present and growing for the past six weeks. Older people are isolated, families are stressed and many younger people are financially stretched, so we’re worried that trusting relationships could break down or advantages be taken.”
“It’s important for older people to be vigilant about their personal safety and call on formal Community Services to get the right support during the pandemic. We’re all here to help.”
The Collaborative is part of a network of similar groups assisted by the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission, which also has an abuse helpline 1800 628 221.