“To prevent sexual assault, older people and staff need a clear set of guidelines to help them identify when sexual activity becomes sexual assault,” said Dr Catherine Barrett, coordinator of the Ready to Listen project.
“We developed the charter – which outlines the rights and responsibilities of residents and staff – because aged care service providers told us they were having a lot of difficulty understanding where that line is.”
Dementia advocate Theresa Flavin says that while community expectations around consent have changed dramatically in recent years, that change hasn’t filtered through to our approaches to older people.
“So the biggest excitement for me about this charter is that suddenly we’ve got some leadership, we’ve got something on paper that will help not only older people, but people living with dementia and everyone that’s around us and supporting us to understand that no does not mean yes, silence doesn’t mean yes, and just sitting there quietly and not being able to say anything doesn’t mean yes.
The #ReadyToListen project aims to build the skills and capacity of residential aged care service providers to better respond to – and prevent – sexual assault in residential aged care. View the resources on our webpage.