Talk Against Elder Abuse 2020

Talk Against Elder Abuse 2020

Talk Against Elder Abuse 2020

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 15 June 2020, it was not possible for COTA Tasmania to hold our annual Walks Against Elder Abuse, so we urged people to Talk Against Elder Abuse instead.

In the 2020 COVID-19 recovery period, Tasmanians aged over 70, and those aged over 65 with chronic conditions, were still being asked to stay home as much as possible for their own health.

At the same time, physical distancing had increased social isolation – one of the biggest risks for elder abuse.

In such times, conversation was a lifebuoy for many older people, and for the communities that support them.

So in 2020, we asked Tasmanians to be part of the solution by raising awareness of elder abuse the best COVID-safe way they could.

View a Recording of “Talks Against Elder Abuse: Stories of Hope”

On 15 June, COTA Tasmania hosted a free online public forum on elder abuse, titled “Stories of Hope”, supported by the Tasmanian Government. The forum was opened by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, Governor of Tasmania, and featured talks and case studies by:

  • the Minister for Human Services, the Honourable Roger Jaensch
  • the Mayor of Launceston Alderman Albert van Zetten
  • the Commonwealth Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson AO
  • the Tasmanian Anti Discrimination Commissioner Sara Bolt
  • Speakers from COTA Tasmania, Advocacy Tasmania, Legal Aid’s Senior Assist, and Relationships Australia Tasmania.

These stories were shared to expand understandings elder abuse and inspire us all to be part of the solution.

The forum included the launch of Tasmania’s new elder abuse awareness campaign. The new campaign is based on the message “It’s ok to ask the question,” which encourages contact with the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline on 1800 441 169 to talk about situations of concern and gain professional and confidential advice. As the Government explains: “The aim of the campaign is to ask all Tasmanians to be mindful of interactions with older members of the community and call the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline to ask questions about elder abuse – whether you know someone who you think may be being harmed, neglected or abused, or you are being abused, or even if you think that your actions may be causing harm to an older person.”

You can view a recording of the entire “Talks Against Elder Abuse: Stories of Hope” online forum on Zoom by registering here. You may be told that the webinar has finished but if you register you will then be able to view the recording using the password: 3p!Rij6n

There Were Video Messages and Inspiration for Every Age

As part of their involvement in WEAAD 2019, the Z Club students at Ogilvie High School produced this inspiring video. In 2020, other Tasmanians were encouraged to produce a video that talked against elder abuse with imagery that was COVID-safe. COTA Tasmania thanks the Z Clubs at Ogilvie and Kingston high schools for their wonderful support during Walks Against Elder Abuse in 2018 and 2019. Z Clubs are the student arm of Zonta International, which works to empower women and girls through support and advocacy. We hope Z Clubs will join us in the walks again in years to come.

In 2020, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, Governor of Tasmania (below), talked against elder abuse in the lead-up to the free online forum “Stories of Hope”, which she open on 15 June. Her Excellency lead the Hobart Walk Against Elder Abuse in 2016. COTA Tasmania thanks Her Excellency for her exceptional support during her years as our patron.

Normally on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), Launceston Mayor Alderman Albert van Zetten (below) would be leading a Walk Against Elder Abuse in his city, but in 2020 year, he encouraging his community and all Tasmanians to talk against elder abuse instead. He also asked us to connect with older Tasmanians, not only for WEAAD but before and after as well. Mayor van Zetten addressed the online forum “Stories of Hope” on 15 June. COTA Tasmania thanks the City of Launceston for supporting Walks Against Elder Abuse in 2018 and 2019. We very much look forward to partnering with the Council on a walk again in 2021.

The Australian Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson (below) is a tireless campaigner for the rights of older Australians and last year toured many parts of Tasmania to promote the Elder Abuse Helpline (1800 441 169 in Tasmania or 1800 353 374 anywhere in Australia). Dr Patterson addressed the online forum “Stories of Hope” on 15 June, speaking about the influence of ageism on elder abuse.

In the lead-up to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020, the Lord Mayor of Hobart Councillor Anna Reynolds joined the “very special elders in her life”, Margaret and Henry (below). In her video, the Lord Mayor urged her community and all Tasmanians to talk against elder abuse. She also acknowledged the great work of the Hobart City Council’s Positive Ageing program. COTA Tasmania thanks the City of Hobart and Mathers Place for supporting the Hobart Walk Against Elder Abuse for many years and looks forward to partnering with them again in 2021.

The video below, produced by EveryAGE Counts, is example of the way video can be used creatively to talk against the ageism that is at the heart of so much elder abuse.

There are all kinds of ways to encourage people to start a conversation. For example, the image below was created for WEAAD 2020 entirely by using PowerPoint shapes.

Tasmanians Were Encouraged to Talk Against Elder Abuse in Many Other Ways

There were so many ways to connect with people, even during periods of physical distancing. Whatever COVID-safe way worked for you, we invited you to join us on 15 June and Talk Against Elder Abuse with at least one other person, then ask them to pass it on.

People Used the Graphics Below to Spread the Word

Organisations Talked Against Elder Abuse Too

We’re grateful to the wonderful organisations that support COTA Tasmania on our walks every year. In 2020, many, many of you talked against elder abuse instead, by sharing and/or liking social media posts, videos and other messages from yourselves or other people concerned about elder abuse.

There Were Grants for Video Conferencing

Organisations that didn’t have a video conferencing account to do do a meeting online were urged to apply for a grant from the Primary Health Network to pay for the subscription.

COTA Tasmania Acknowledged the Support of the Tasmanian Government

COTA Tasmania’s activities to raise awareness of elder abuse prevention and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day were supported by the Tasmanian Government.