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Elder Abuse: Support for older people


What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is a form of family violence. The World Health Organisation 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”.

Elder abuse can include financial, psychological, social, physical and sexual abuse and neglect. It is common for older people to experience at least two types of abuse at any one time.


How is Peninsula Health responding to the abuse of older people?

Peninsula Health recognises elder abuse as a form of family violence.

Our Social Work department has specialist workers available to provide expert advice across Peninsula Health and support to patients. Patients, family members and supporters can ask to speak with a social worker.

Training, programs and resources are available to all staff to support a sensitive response to family violence, including elder abuse.

Community service providers can contact the Elder Abuse Liaison Officer for secondary consultation. 

Further information about Peninsula Health’s response to elder abuse can be found in the dropdown boxes below.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2022

15 June is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).

It is an important date on the calendar each year, raising awareness of elder abuse – one of the worst types of ageism and inequality in our society.

To promote WEAAD, Respect Victoria has launched the Respect Older People Call it Out campaign addressing the impact of discrimination particularly ageism as a driver of elder abuse.

Peninsula Health’s Elder Abuse Liaison Officer

Peninsula Health’s Elder Abuse Liaison Officer, Sue Leake, provides secondary consultation to any service providers across Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula (both within and external to Peninsula Health) who are concerned about, or suspect, instances of elder abuse. This includes GPs, Allied Health, any community aged care service provider or family violence worker.

For Elder Abuse Secondary Consultation, please contact:

Sue Leake – Elder Abuse Liaison Officer
Mon – Fri 8.00am to 4.30pm
phone.   0466 781 205
email.    Elderabuseenquiries@phcn.vic.gov.au

You can read about more Sue Leake and her role here

The Integrated Model of Care for Responding to Suspected Elder Abuse (IMOC)

Peninsula Health is one of five Integrated Model of Care for Responding to Suspected Elder Abuse (IMOC) trial sites across the state.

The IMOC is a Victorian government-funded pilot project implemented in response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence. It enables health services to provide specialist support to older people, their carers and their families, to address suspected elder abuse.

There are four key components of the IMOC:

  1. Secondary Consultation
  2. Family Mediation and Counselling
  3. Workforce Training
  4. Prevention

Click here to read more about these four components.

Useful resources and contact details