Everyone deserves respect. Understanding your rights is a good place to start if you have concerns writes Christine Mattey.
We don’t lose our fundamental human rights as we age, but through circumstances including a relationship breakdown, family dysfunction, ill health or precarious accommodation, we may feel as though we’ve lost our voice and the odds are stacked against us.
Address the concerns you, or someone you know, may have regarding legal issues, relationships, housing, at-home aged care services, the NDIS, counselling and /or personal safety. Each month, the City of Sydney in partnership with the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit are providing a safe, friendly and confidential space where you can have your questions answered directly by professionals working in these areas.
City of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore said of the hubs, ‘This important joint initiative supports our older residents to feel and be safe.’
All services providers who attend the hubs are happy to discuss ways to keep you, your assets and property safe, to assist you with planning ahead and to help you weigh up options and choices.
If you are a case worker, care advisor, GP, medical specialist, social or community worker, or other professional working with older people, you can refer your clients directly to the hubs for information, support and referrals.
If your English is limited, that is not an issue – we can access an independent interpreting service to assist.
The free, monthly hubs are at the following locations:
- Reginald Murphy Community Centre, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point – 2nd Monday of the month from 10.30am to 2.30pm
- Ultimo Community Centre, 40 William Henry Street, Ultimo – 2nd Wednesday of the Month from 10am to 2pm.
If you have any questions at any point about your rights and options, you can contact the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit on 1800 628 221, Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5 pm. Anyone can make the call.
Christine Mattey is a Senior Consultant at the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit www.elderabusehelpline.com.au
Why are some of us at greater risk of our rights being disrespected?
- Lack of information available in our preferred language
- Language and cultural barriers may mean that it is difficult to understand the Australian aged-care system or services such as Centrelink, or even to go about everyday business such as banking
- An older person may rely on a family member to communicate with services and that family member may be acting in their own best interests
- Lack of status in the family, perhaps you live with your family in their home and might feel you can’t speak up
- Be socially isolated
- Have memory issues or a dementia diagnosis
- Loss of a partner/spouse and are grieving that loss
- Have a disability that is either physical or intellectual
- Mental health issues
- Lack of money
- Poor physical health
- Dependent on someone for care
- Family conflict