Point Lonsdale cuppa opens discussion on elder neglect

June 28, 2022 BY

Grade 5 and Grade 6 pupils from Point Lonsdale Primary got the chance to speak with some of the town's older residents on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Photo: SUPPLIED

INITIATIVES and events promoting World Elder Abuse Awareness Day were held all over the Geelong and Bellarine regions on June 15 as elder abuse and neglect prevention was brought to the forefront on the day.

Among the events was a coming together of Bellarine Community Health (BCH) clients and Point Lonsdale Primary School Grade 5 and 6 pupils, in which both groups were given the chance to “share a cuppa” and talk about a range of topics.

“Bringing our social support clients and the local primary students together is a great way to show the benefits of inter-generational interaction,” BCH social support manager Karen Crockford said.

“It’s also important to raise awareness about elder abuse to ensure older people are respected in our community.”

Point Lonsdale Primary School principal Fay Agterhuis is a massive advocate for her students to have real-life experiences, and spoke highly of the chance to speak with some of the area’s older residents.

“For the students to ‘share a cuppa’ and a conversation is such a thrill, and it highlights the importance grandparents, or grandparent figures can play in the lives of young people,” Ms Agterhuis said.

“The kids love spending time with the older people and when you listen, you can hear some amazing conversations between them.”

The official colour of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was on full display with an abundance of purple lining the social support activities room at BCH Point Lonsdale.

BCH said many relationships between older people and their families can be quite complicated, with grandparents facing challenges such as estrangement from grandchildren; pressure to provide financial or other support; issues related to informal caregiving; and concern for the safety of grandchildren in family violence situations.

If you are experiencing elder abuse, or concerned about an older person, you can get help by phoning Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821, or by heading to seniorsrights.org.au.

For more information about Elder Abuse Awareness Day, head to elderabuseawarenessday.org.au.

To find out more about the BCH Social Support program, head to bch.org.au/groups/social-support-groups.