Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA), the new peak body representing aged care providers, has marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day with a renewed commitment to address ageism and a call for all Australians to join providers, consumers, carers and advocates in taking action.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is commemorated each year to highlight the most devastating outcomes of ageism: neglect, exploitation, sexual assault, and physical and emotional harm.

“Aged care providers acknowledge the important role they must play in addressing ageism and elder abuse,” ACCPA Interim CEO Paul Sadler said.

“We can improve the aged care system by reducing ageism. We must better value and harness the contributions of older Australians.

“Aged care providers are determined to prevent elder abuse and to respond effectively each and every day wherever it does occur. We take seriously our responsibility to make sure all our staff, families and older Australians understand what elder abuse is and what to do if they witness it.

“Aged care services are required to report potential elder abuse to the authorities, including the police if a crime is suspected. We look forward to working with the new Federal Government on plans to extend the Serious Incident Response Scheme to home care services.

“Aged care providers will continue to work with advocates like the Older Persons’ Advocacy Network (OPAN) to provide practical tools to assist staff identify abuse and understand how to respond appropriately,” Mr Sadler said.