Support for older residents


By Oliver Lees

Older members of the Hume community will soon have greater access to support, with a rights advocacy organisation announcing it is seeking new advocates across Melbourne.

Elder Rights Advocacy (ERA) is an organisation dedicated to supporting Victorians in aged care by providing information on their rights as residents, promoting inclusion and providing education on elder abuse prevention.

The ERA, which serves as the Victorian branch of the national Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), is currently seeking individuals to serve as community advocates, providing free information and education to older Australians in aged care services.

ERA advocacy manager Debra Nicholls said aged care advocates empower older people to exercise their rights and support them to find solutions.

“We’re looking for recruits who are eager to make a positive difference to the lives of older people so that they get the best experience out of their aged care,” Ms Nicholl said.

“If you want to be part of the change by raising the voices of older people in your local community, we want to hear from you.”

OPAN chief executive Craig Gear said the ERA’s services would provide timely support.

“For too long, too many older Australians in some parts of the country were not able to access an advocate – this will ensure more older Australians are heard,” Mr Gear said.

“These local advocates will help older people access advocacy support and find timely solutions to issues they may be experiencing in their own home or residential care.”

According to the findings of the federal government’s royal commission into elder abuse in aged care, 39 per cent of older Australians have experienced some form of elder abuse.

A ERA spokesperson has urged Hume residents to consider becoming an advocate.