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Trial of an integrated model of care for responding to suspected elder abuse

Overview

The Bouverie Centre has been funded by the Department of Health and Human Services to work with selected Victorian health services participating in a trial of an integrated model of care for responding to suspected elder abuse. The model aims to enhance the health service sector’s capacity to respond to situations of suspected or known abuse and to strengthen options and pathways for older Victorians who are at risk of or experiencing elder abuse. It includes four key components:

  • Workforce development (to be delivered by The Bouverie Centre, in partnership with St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Seniors Rights Victoria)
  • Counselling and mediation services (including financial counselling)
  • An elder abuse prevention and response liaison officer
  • A local elder abuse prevention network.

Project aims

The integrated model of care aims to create multiple entry points within Victorian health services for older people and their carers and families to access support to address suspected elder abuse. It is based on least restrictive, family-inclusive practice, as identified in the findings of the Royal Commission into Family Violence:

“response(s) should be sensitive to choices about family relationships… instead of relying on a criminal justice response.”

The Bouverie Centre’s role in the project

The Bouverie Centre, with assistance from St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Seniors Rights Victoria, will be working with the selected health services to build workforce capacity to identify and respond to suspected elder abuse by: 

  • Delivering a range of training options for staff working across the care continuum, with the recognition that engaging with families is critical to practice in this area, as is creating constructive contexts for difficult conversations and making the most of each encounter with a client, even if brief.
  • Supporting frontline staff and managers to achieve meaningful and sustainable changes in practice post training delivery through practice enquiry groups for practice champions and expert consultation for those responsible for facilitating organisational and system level changes.
  • Utilising an action research approach to inform implementation, knowledge generation and practice development.

For further queries, please contact Michelle Wills – e) m.wills@latrobe.edu.au or t) 03 9385 5100

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