Training sets sights on curbing abuse of older people

A new online course, launched this week, is aiming to help health workers and managers recognise the signs of abuse of older people and build their confidence to ask the right questions and take appropriate action.

This form of abuse happens to approximately  15 per cent of people aged 60 and over, according to the World Health Organisation.

The online course aims to help health workers recognise the signs of abuse of older people

The online course, Recognising, Responding and Reporting the Abuse of Older Peopletakes participants through eight video case studies.

Participants are required to report an incident of alleged abuse, familiarising them with the various kinds of abuse including physical, psychological, financial and the use of chemical restraints.

WA Primary Health Alliance has funded the initiative, developed in partnership with WA Country Health Service and Advocare.

WA Primary Health Alliance Regional Manager, Lesley Pearson, said the launch of the course was a significant achievement and interest has already been received from other organisations involved in the reporting of abuse of older persons, such as WA Police.

“In the current climate, this launch could not have come at a better time as we all need to be aware of and be able to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities,” Ms Pearson said.

“The e learning module was easy to follow, with information for escalation and covered topics of sensitivity. All in all, I felt it was well put together.” – Patient Care Assistant

“Great resource, great links and clearly relevant attachments.” – Paramedic

After extensive trials, the course is now being rolled out across regional WA.

As well as WA Country Health Service staff being trained, it is also available to residential aged care facility workers, aged care support services, advocacy groups and community groups.

Course outline

  • Provides resources and contacts on where to go for advice and assistance;
  • Describes the social circumstances in which abuse of an older person may occur;
  • Identifies abuse types and signs;
  • Describes the barriers to recognising and reporting abuse of the older person;
  • Describes the duty of care and appropriate action to take when abuse is disclosed, witnessed or suspected;
  • Explains how to respond to reports of alleged abuse.

To undertake the course, click here.

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