Government must act now on elder abuse

Dignity Party MLC Kelly Vincent has tabled a report of the Elder Abuse Committee in Parliament demanding comprehensive action to stop abuse of older South Australians.

“The past two years have been dark days in this state’s history in relation to abuse against older South Australians,” says Kelly Vincent.

“With the Oakden scandal, we’ve learnt of horrific treatment of people with dementia and we must prevent this from occurring ever again.

“This is why I’m pleased to speak today strongly supporting the recommendations of the Elder Abuse Select Committee.

“The recommendations we’ve made are practical and affordable, and they support those made by experts around the nation in the last several years.

“Firstly, we call on the State Government establish a South Australian Adult Protection Act. I sincerely believe we need this to protect our most at risk older South Australians.

“The report also calls on the State Government to establish a South Australian Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, previously recommended in the Closing the Gaps Report of 2011.

“We also call on the State Government to advocate strong Federal Government leadership for an ambitious, comprehensive and coordinated approach to elder abuse in Australia in support of the 2017 Australian Law reform Commission’s (ALRC) recommendations.

“We also support the establishment of a national elder abuse strategy, supporting the ALRC’s call for unregistered care workers providing direct care be subject to the planned National Code of Conduct for carer workers and national screening processes.

“We’ve also recommended the State Government actively take part in the new Federal Government initiatives announced on 1 October 2017, including possible extended mandatory reporting, and potential use of surveillance cameras in residential aged care.

“The human rights of older people are above politics. The Government must work with all stakeholders to implement these important changes. We can’t take back the wrongs of the past, but we can, and must, create a better future,” said Ms Vincent.