Toolkit will help prevent elder abuse

Central Coast Council has welcomed the news that the Ageing and Disability Commission (ADC) has developed the Ending Abuse through Simple Interventions (EASI) toolkit to help councils address the issues of elder abuse within their communities.

First-of-its-kind data released by the Ageing and Disability Commission (ADC) will help local councils better safeguard older people and adults with disability from abuse in their family, home and community.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Alister Henskens, said the data will be provided to councils as part of a new program which will help identify trends and develop strategies to respond to abuse, neglect and exploitation.

“This new data will inform how communities respond to issues of abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability, by arming them with the tools they need to implement tailored solutions and prevention initiatives,” Henskens said.

The program provides a snapshot of local reporting data, including the number of reports, the main reporters and the types of abuse being reported.

Minister for Seniors, Natalie Ward, said the ADC has developed an evidence-based toolkit to help councils implement sustainable, long-term initiatives.

“This is a great example of data driving good social policy that will help prevent elder abuse and create stronger communities across our state,” Ward said.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the initiative highlights the important role councils play in supporting their communities at a grassroots level.

“Councils are well placed to lead local solutions by bringing together the community and social services sector to help protect our most vulnerable,” she said.

A Central Coast council spokesperson said the toolkit would help strengthen Council’s existing programs and strategies, including the recently adopted Positive Ageing Strategy 2021-2026 and Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2021-2025.

The spokesperson said the Positive Ageing Strategy 2021-26, which was adopted by Council on October 2021, aims to support and assist older residents to be more resilient by continuing to raise awareness of elder abuse and neglect, through information in GOALL magazine and educating staff to identify and support older people at risk.

“Council is committed to working with partners and stakeholders including Central Coast Elder Abuse Service and Legal Aid NSW to achieve this goal and is already taking an active role in educating older residents about elder abuse and where to get help if you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse,” the spokesperson said.

“Both Council’s Positive Ageing Strategy 2021-2026 and Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2021-2025 were developed in close consultation with community, and provide direction to Council for the planning, development and implementation of programs, activities, services and infrastructure to respond to the changing needs and aspirations of the Central Coast community.”

The Positive Ageing Strategy 2021-2026 and Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2021-2025 can be accessed via Council’s website www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au by searching ‘Strategies and Plans’.

More information about the Ending Abuse through Simple Interventions toolkit is available on the ADC website.

Terry Collins

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