NOTE: This course is specifically developed and designed for Health professionals only. The content of abuse is confronting, complex and a sensitive area of study, and as such health and allied health professionals are well placed and qualified to identify risks and signs of abuse as part of their clinical assessment.
Abuse of older people is a complex issue which is often caused by someone who is trusted by the older person, such as a family member, friend, professional, or paid caregiver.
Abuse can occur in a number of settings, including the older person’s home. Sometimes, both the victim and perpetrator do not recognise that what is occurring is abuse. Abuse affects both older men and women, and people from all walks of life.
Health professionals play an important role in addressing abuse of older people. As trusted professionals, they are well placed to identify signs of abuse of older people through their established professional relationship with patients and therapeutic clinical assessments. In responding to abuse, health professionals need to be aware of sensitive contextual nature of abuse and the concomitant complex family dynamics, such as dependency on the perpetrator for care, transport, and housing.
“We want to think the best of people, but unfortunately physical elder abuse is real.”
Dr Chris Moy GP and President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA)
The project Abuse of the older person: eLearning program for health professionals is an outcome of the recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission report on Elder Abuse (2017).
The project involved the formation of a collaborative partnership with the Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO, Age Discrimination Commissioner, and the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), and a coalition of health professionals nationally.
How long will it take to complete?
Access to the self-paced eLearning program allows for approximately 10 hours of professional development by engaging with all three abuse modules. These hours can be used to apply to your individual organisations for CPD. It is recommended, due to the large number of topics and length of time to review (approx. 10- 20 minutes each), to move though the program at a pace that fits in with busy workloads e.g. one topic at a sitting.
The three modules are:
- Module 1: Understanding abuse of the older person and their rights
- Module 2: Identifying, responding to, and preventing abuse of the older person
- Module 3: Rights of older people, Power of Attorney and the law and organisational governance
- Define the various forms of abuse of older people
- Identify signs and risk factors for abuse of the older person, recognising that abuse situations are often complex, deeply personal, unique and individual
- Assess abuse of the older person using different support mechanisms and communication styles
- Respond appropriately to signs of abuse
- Provide support to older people to mitigate risks associated with abuse and refer them to advocacy networks & other support services, where appropriate
- Acknowledge the rights of self-determination of all older people, raise awareness of the harmful effects of ageism and ageist attitudes
- Understand the diversity of older Australians and provide culturally aware supports and information
- Build organisational governance capacity.
If you would like to register or know more about this program email education@OPAN.com.au