On 19 March 2019, the Attorney-General launched the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-2023. Developed in collaboration with state and territory governments, the National Plan provides an overview of the issues that all governments need to act on as a priority, as well as early agreed actions to address them.
It sets out a framework for ongoing cooperation, action and monitoring against five key priority areas:
Enhancing our understanding
Improving community awareness and access to information
Strengthening service responses
Planning for future decision-making
Strengthening safeguards for vulnerable older adults
These priority areas will result in:
Access to better information about elder abuse, to enable governments to target effective responses
Better co-ordination across jurisdictions, as many families live across multiple states or territories and may struggle to navigate systems and rules operating in different locations
An improvement in people's access to information about elder abuse, including driving greater service responses, such as the Australian Government's recent investment in front-line support services
Greater attention on the benefits of planning ahead and making it easier and safer for older people to utilise future-planning tools such as powers of attorney.