11h CPDSeminar

Protecting the Older Adult Seminar

2-Day Seminar to Identify and Prevent Elder Abuse


24 - 25 Oct 2019
Oaks On Collins
480 Collins St
Melbourne VIC3000

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Why Attend

Elder abuse is a shocking event and it is not limited to institutional care. Early identification and action are essential. Attend this seminar and gain confidence in preventing and actively responding to this problem. Learn about:

  • What exactly is elder abuse?
  • Codes of ethics and conduct you must know
  • Who are the most at risk for abuse?
  • What are the warning signs?
  • How can you identify a victim who cannot speak up?
  • Why do people not tell others of their abuse?
  • Mandatory reporting imperatives
  • What is the role of the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner?

Need for Program

Elder abuse is a major issue in our society. Every year in Australia, up to 10% of people over 65 years old are estimated to be victims of elder abuse. However, the tendency is to assume that elder abuse is as manifest as overt sexual abuse and blatant assault, but it is far broader than that. A lack of knowledge and understanding of elder abuse can lead to incidents that could be prevented. Therefore, it is critical that all nurses and other health providers are able to identify cases of elder abuse, understand why it happens, and what their professional obligations are in regards to intervention and reporting.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this seminar is to educate health and aged care providers on the prevention, detection, and appropriate intervention of elder abuse, including their accountability for mandatory reporting.

Your Learning Outcomes

  1. Use knowledge of the breadth and complexity of elder abuse to better assess and monitor older adults in your care
  2. Be confident in your duty of care and understanding of legal requirements that apply in relation to elder abuse
  3. Effectively respond to suspected elder abuse, including reporting and documentation
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Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


The Unspeakable: Elder Abuse in our Society

Elder abuse is considered to be more widespread than the cases reported. It is often silent and hidden. People over 80 – particularly older frail women – are at a great risk and perpetrators are more likely to be family members. This introductory session looks at:

  • What is elder abuse?
  • Who is at greatest risk?
  • What are the several forms of abuse that can occur?
  • Is it deliberate or inadvertent?
  • At what age is family violence classed as elder abuse?
  • What are trust relationships and how can they be used to protect the elderly?


Checks and Balances – Legislative Frameworks

Laws that relate to elder abuse are varied. This session looks at:

  • Duty of care
  • Laws that protect against elder abuse
  • Powers of attorney
  • Code of ethics and conduct
  • Privacy and secret cameras – is it an issue?
  • Mandatory reporting

10:30am - Morning Tea


Failing to Take Action

This short session will consider the consequences of failing to take action when elder abuse is suspected.


The Silence of the Vulnerable

It is predicted that the extent of elder abuse is far greater than the statistics show. So why is it so difficult to reveal? This session looks at some of the barriers to reporting abuse by victims. It includes:

  • Shame / betrayal of family / isolation / dementia
  • Not knowing or having access to a reportable organisation
  • Threats and fear


Whistleblowing and Advocacy

In a Four Corners documentary that screened in 2018, it was disclosed that staff took a year to conclusively act on a suspicion that a colleague was abusing residents. This session will discuss the possible reasons why staff find it difficult to whistleblow.

  • Should staff report at the point of suspicion and what are the consequences of this?
  • What are the implications of not speaking out early?

1:00pm - Lunch and Networking


Topics of Concern

To gain a more in-depth understanding of elder abuse, this session provides an opportunity to discuss issues that have been raised for you in the morning sessions, and seek clarity on any of the content.

2:45pm - Afternoon Tea


Assessment: The Tell Tale Signs

This session will use a case scenario to highlight signs and symptoms that may indicate abuse, the importance of assessment, as well as questions and cues.

4:15pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Dealing with Complaints

There is a range of mechanisms for people to make complaints about poor care and elder abuse. But what happens in your workplace? This session includes:

  • Do you know the complaints policy?
  • Do you know what happens to a complaint?
  • What is the best way to communicate with someone who makes a complaint?
  • What is the best process if you have a complaint?
  • How would you deal with a false accusation in a complaint?


Communication with Regulators

With the changes that have occurred in the regulation of aged care, such as the establishment and role of the new Aged Care Safety and Quality Commission, it is even more important to know how to communicate with regulators. This session will look at:

  • The role of the new Aged Care Safety and Quality Commission and new standards
  • The Royal Commission into aged care services

10:30am - Morning Tea


When the Family is Involved

Elder abuse is not limited to residential aged care. Many people in the community may also be subjected to abuse in a variety of forms. As is already known, elder abuse can be carried out by family members. This important session looks at:

  • What happens when a victim is not receiving care services?
  • What about when the victim is in residential aged care?
  • What are the possible red flags that suggest theft and battery?
  • Documentation imperatives


The Importance of Forensic Evidence

This session will look at the role of taking a forensic approach to signs of elder abuse and preserving evidence.

1:00pm - Lunch and Networking


The Coroner’s Court

Just as with other abuses across the lifespan, premature death, whether deliberate or inadvertent, may be a consequence of the abuse of an older person. This session looks at the role of the police and coroner’s court when a death occurs. It includes:

  • Preserving the evidence
  • Being a witness
  • The impact of a coroner's findings on practice and care

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Case Scenario and Wrap-Up

This final session will bring together important points learned throughout the two days. It is an interactive session that will reflect on observation, assessment, communication, reporting, and documentation.

4:15pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations

Linda Starr

Dr Linda Starr has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in general, mental health nursing, law, education and a PhD in legal issues in elder abuse. Linda has extensive experience as an RN in metropolitan and rural locations, in general nursing, mental health, forensic health, aged care, and management. She has held senior positions in academia including the Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Linda has publications in health law and forensic health issues. Linda is an associate professor in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University and a consultant educator in health law and ethics for nurses, midwives and carers. She is Chair of the SA Board of Nursing and Midwifery, Fellow of the College of Nursing Australia, Foundation President of the Australian Forensic Nurses Association, Member on the School of Health Academic Advisory Board for Open Colleges and the International member on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Forensic Nursing.

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Protecting the Older Adult Seminar 2019