The State Government has partnered with advocacy and education organisation Advocare to train financial counsellors to recognise and respond to financial elder abuse.
Advocare will develop and deliver a series of live webinars for the financial services industry, which will also be available as an ongoing resource on the Advocare website.
The program forms part of the WA Strategy to Respond to the Abuse of Older People 2019-2029, and the State Government will fund the development of the training program at a total of $71,500.
The webinars will cover the key issues of financial elder abuse such as how to recognise financial elder abuse, what questions to ask and what immediate action should be taken.
The course will cover family and cultural expectations as well as information on the range of community and legal pathways available to victims.
Importantly, additional common legal options to protect people’s rights including enduring power of attorney and guardianship will be covered, including issues specific to vulnerable communities such as rural, regional and remote areas.
As stated by Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray:
“Financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse and is both under-reported and misunderstood.
“This initiative seeks to combat elder abuse through increased awareness and education within the financial counselling industry on financial abuse – and it is great to see the partnership that has developed between Advocare and FCAWA.
“Financial counsellors are often the first people to see the evidence of financial elder abuse and I thank the financial counselling sector for their involvement and commitment to combatting elder abuse.
“Older people have the right to be treated with respect by their families and friends and have the right to choose how their money is spent.”
As stated by Acting CEO of Advocare Justine Martyr:
“Financial elder abuse is the most commonly reported type of abuse, with social isolation and living in regional or remote areas increasing risk.
“Advocare is excited to be developing stronger working relationships with the Financial Counsellors’ Association as a key element of our response to the financial abuse of older Western Australians – and the opportunity to present at the FCAWA Annual Conference this week is an important part of this.
“The delivery of a four-part webinar series will assist financial counsellors throughout WA recognise, prevent and respond to elder abuse.
“The $71,500 funding provided by the State Government will enable Advocare to engage directly with financial counsellors to safeguard and support older members of the WA community at risk of, or experiencing, financial elder abuse and to continue to provide anti-ageist, empowering information and assistance to prevent it.”