About This Site

What is the Elder Abuse Response Toolkit?

The Elder Abuse Response Toolkit is an easily accessible website containing simple, plain language elder abuse information for anyone who works with older people. It answers many of the questions workers contact Seniors Rights Victoria to ask.

Who is it for?

The Elder Abuse Response Tool Kit is for anyone whose work brings them in contact with older people. Workers who may find the toolkit useful include:

  • Direct care workers in the aged and/or disability fields
  • Family violence workers
  • Health professionals
  • Case workers and case managers
  • Housing workers
  • Finance industry workers

What types of abuse does it cover?

The term ‘elder abuse’ relates to harm carried out by someone an older person knows and trusts, such as a family member or friend.

Abuse of older people by someone who is not part of a trusting relationship, such as workers and business owners, is not covered in this toolkit. For information about consumer-based abuse such as scams and rip offs contact Consumer Affairs Victoria. For information about abuse in a residential care setting or by a worker from a commonwealth care provider contact Elder Rights Advocacy.

What is the aim of The Online Elder Abuse Response Tool Kit?

The toolkit aims to:

  • improve worker confidence in supporting older people experiencing or at risk of elder abuse
  • provide information about the types of abuse, signs to watch for and what to do about it, including what to do when someone refuses help
  • provide easy access to a range of information resources and where to go
  • promote work practices based on the rights of older people to live with dignity and safety.

This toolkit is designed to work alongside your agency’s policy and procedures and any other mechanisms in place to support your practice.

Key principles

This toolkit is based on the key principles underpinning the implementation of the Victorian Government Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy, as follows:

  • Competence: All adults are considered competent to make informed decisions unless demonstrated otherwise.
  • Self-determination: With appropriate information and support, individuals should be encouraged to make their own decisions.
  • Appropriate protection: Where a person is not competent to make their own decisions, it may be necessary to appoint a guardian or administrator. If a person is represented, their wishes should still be taken into account as far as possible.
  • Best interests: The interests of an older person’s safety and wellbeing are paramount. Even when they are unable to make all decisions themselves, their views should be taken into account.
  • Importance of relationships: All responses to allegations of abuse should be respectful of the existing relationships that are considered important to an older person.
  • Collaborative responses: Effective prevention and response requires a collaborative approach which recognises the complexity of the issue and the skills and experience of appropriate services.
  • Community responsibility: The most effective response is achieved when agencies work collaboratively and in partnership with the community.

Some content in this toolkit has been drawn from the following publications, with permission: