New first for Blayney’s aged

Better care: Bernadette Ryan hopes for people to become more aware of signs of abuse to reduce the risk of elder mistreatment  in our community. Photo: Contributed.
Better care: Bernadette Ryan hopes for people to become more aware of signs of abuse to reduce the risk of elder mistreatment in our community. Photo: Contributed.

Blayney will be the venue for the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in the central west on Friday June 15.

Organiser Bernadette Ryan, Chairperson for the Blayney Carer Friendship Corp is inviting all interested members of the community to come along to the Blayney Community Centre at 2pm for afternoon tea and talks to discuss the issue.

Ms Ryan said that the UN defines elder abuse 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.

“In Australia, figures released reveal over 5% prevalence of elder abuse; that is 182,000 older Australians were victim to elder abuse in 2017,” she said.

The most common form of abuse is financial with psychological abuse being slightly less common.

Ms Ryan said however that sometimes those two forms of abuse are meted out together,

“Psychological abuse appears slightly less common, and seems to frequently co-occur with financial abuse,” she said.

“It occurs in situations where an older person is isolated and vulnerable.

“Other forms of abuse are neglect, physical, and sexual.”

Ms Ryan said everyone is welcome.

“With luck, we will all grow older, so come and participate in becoming aware of signs of abuse to reduce the risk of elder mistreatment  in our community.”

Program

Quest speaker from Minister Davies Office. The speaker has been organised by the state member from Bathurst the Hon. Paul Toole MP. Speaking on state policies for responding and preventing elder abuse.

Tricia Arden, Past President of the Law Society in the Central West, and Chair of The Continuing Legal Education Committee. Tricia acts for Arden Law, here in Blayney and will be speaking on the import role of solicitors in responding and preventing elder abuse.

Les Hansen, Bathurst Branch Manager of the NSW Guardian and Trustee Service. Speaking on setting up end-of-life wishes and arrangements, Will and financial arrangements.

Guest speaker video presentation

Professor Ian Hickie, Co-director of Policy at The Mind and Brain Health Institute of Sydney University. Ian Hickie had other commitments in Canada so he made a video presentation for our Blayney meeting. His video covers the importance of community engagement with older people. Particularly for responding to signs of mind decline and the ageing processes and preventing risk of depression, which will result in a happier community at large.

Also attending this meeting will be:

Vanessa McNamara, acting Director Operations Central West for Community and Family NSW Service (Orange). 

The NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit have provided resources and information for the meeting and those attending. Christine Matley, Senior Consultant for the Helpline congratulates Blayney community for taking on the hard subject matter of elder abuse in the Central West. Christine confirmed we are the only community do so.

Rebecca Moffitt, Senior Branch Manager of the Bathurst Guardian and Trustee Service attending is happy to help people with specific information if anyone requires it.