Action and AdvocacyCOTA WAWestern Australia

Monday, 15 June is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). This annual observance day was first established in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and was officially recognised by United Nations General Assembly in 2011.

Elder abuse is “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional behaviour.

WEAAD is about raising awareness of elder abuse and its different forms including financial, physical, emotional or sexual. It is estimated to affect 1 in 20 older people in Western Australia and is likely to increase as families deal with the pressures of job loss, financial hardship and mental health issues as a result of COVID-19.

Elder abuse in any form is not OK and we encourage everybody to call it out. Providing education and information to the community and changing negative attitudes and behaviour is the key to prevention.    

The Government of Western Australia – Department of Communities have produced a suite of collateral to support the community. I encourage you to view these resources here:

www.communities.wa.gov.au/media/2437/elder-abuse-brochure.pdf

www.communities.wa.gov.au/media/2514/elder-abuse-helpline-postcards.pdf

you can also download a WEAAD pack from Advocare, or visit our website at www.cotawa.org.au for more information.

Purple is the designated colour for WEAAD right across the world. To show its support the City of Perth will light up the building in purple on 15 June. All seniors should be respected and celebrated. There is no place for elder abuse in our society and we encourage you to show your support by complementing your outfit of choice with a splash of purple on 15 June.

In this issue of COTA Connections we focus on supporting you to get the information you need as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis phase to the recovery phase. Have you downloaded the COVIDSafe app? We’ve included some helpful information. If you need a shopping service that will take your order by phone and will deliver and unpack your shopping if requested, then read our article about the Cahoots Shopping Service. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, our Strength For Life (Living Longer Living Stronger) program and our Mall Walking programs are set to resume.

How are you adjusting to life as restrictions are being lifted ? Do you plan to resume your usual activities? Has life become better for you – or worse? Over the next few weeks we will be launching a Seniors Voice survey to give you the chance to have your say on how COVID-19 has affected you.

Until then, stay safe and active.

Christine Allen, CEO