Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) is a new peak organisation established as a national voice for action that eliminates elder abuse. We are committed to: 
  • Social justice and the rights of older people; 
  • Respect for difference and inclusion; 
  • Community collaboration to eliminate elder abuse; 
  • Accountability and integrity; 
  • Evidence based practice and research; and 
  • Innovation and forward-thinking. 
One of EAAA’s first projects funded by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department was to conduct a feasibility study into the development of a Knowledge Hub on elder abuse.

This feasibility study examined the capacity of a Knowledge Hub to provide an online gateway to raise awareness and provide an authoritative, national source of information and resources on the topic of elder abuse.

In particular, the feasibility study provided guidance to the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department on a Knowledge Hub that: 
  • Strengthens access to information, advocacy, support and referral pathways; 
  • Creates access to learning and professional development content and opportunities; 
  • Engages the spectrum of stakeholders in preventing the abuse of older Australians; 
  • Provides clarity on a Hub’s purpose; and 
  • Reflects the diversity of stakeholders who will interact with a Hub. 
EAAA partnered with Mirum Australia digital agency to deliver the Feasibility Study on 21 December 2018.

KEY FINDINGS 
  •  Driving towards widespread social change in today’s connected world demands an effective digital strategy. This can be executed as a subject-matter specific Knowledge Hub, a service gateway, a connector and conduit, an online awareness tool or a digital service. An online presence of any form is essential to create impact and drive changes in perception and behaviour. 
  • Ninety-six per cent of respondents to an online survey issued as part of this study agree – a Knowledge Hub on the topic of elder abuse is necessary and will play an important role in raising awareness, disseminating information, connecting disparate service responses and providing much needed education. 
  • A Knowledge Hub on elder abuse has the capacity to be more than just a website. With the right structure, content and stakeholder endorsement, it can act as a source of truth, and agent of change. It can help shift the overarching response model from one of intervention and remedial action, to identification and prevention. 
  • There are many challenges to overcome, such as ageism, limited knowledge about elder abuse, resistance to reporting abuse, limited opportunities for collaboration between service providers, inconsistent information and resources, and reaching the community’s most isolated and vulnerable older adults. 
  • A dedicated online resource can help foster a respectful culture that values the wishes, preferences and quality of life that an older person aspires to, one that is cognisant of cultural differences within the community and provides culturally appropriate responses.
As an educator, advocate, change-maker and innovator, the Hub will play an important role in the prevention of elder abuse. Beyond national impact, the Hub should aspire to global recognition, as an example of best practice, and as a world-class benchmark for the delivery of online tools in the recognition and prevention of elder abuse.