Combating Elder Abuse


The project “COMBATING ELDER ABUSE”

LLP Project Grundtvig Learning Partnership
Financed by the European Commission through ANPCDEFP
Duration: 2 years (2013-2015)
Project website: www.combatingelderabuse.eu

PARTNERSHIP

– Suvanto (Finlanda) – The Finnish Association For A Safe Old Age, is a national non-governmental organization. The goal of the association is to raise awareness among decision makers, local and national authorities, professionals and citizens on the issue of elder abuse and neglect.

– Asociatia HABILITAS – Centru de Resurse si Formare Profesionala (Romania)

– Age Action (Irlanda) – a national advocacy and representative NGO for older people.

– Anziani e Non Solo (Italia) – is a NGO working since 2004 in the field of social innovation, with a specific focus on project management and the realization of services and products in the field of welfare and social inclusion

CONTEXT AND JUSTIFICATION
According to Eurostat Statistics population projections (2011), in the partner countries of this project show that the percentage of people aged 65 years and over will increase. Although the health conditions of the older population may be expected to continue to improve the rapid increase of the oldest-old is likely to present a challenge to protective social systems. In particular, those older people with mental and physical disabilities who may be dependent on the help of informal or professional carers, and as a result, may be more vulnerable to abuse.

The prevalence rate of elder abuse in different European countries varies from 0.8% to 39.4%. In the last few years, the issue of abuse and neglect against older people has gained importance at European and national levels. Public authorities, policy makers, care providers and end user organizations are now aware that, just like child abuse, elder abuse can no longer be tolerated and measures must be put in place to ensure that all older persons who become dependent on others for care and assistance are adequately protected and can enjoy a dignified older age. Elder abuse is being recognized as a major societal problem across Europe.

AIM OF THE PROJECT
A common need of the partner organizations in this project is to continuously find new knowledge and ways to educate, train and support local and national authorities, informal and professional carers and volunteers to protect older people from abuse, to empower older people themselves to take over their own lives and to create opportunities for their participation in society. There is also a need for greater inter-agency collaboration and protocols and improvement of services.This project provides an opportunity to share this knowledge, training material and further develop existing tools. The partners have been and currently are involved in different European level activities and projects. This makes it possible to expand knowledge on the prevention of elder abuse at a European level.

The objectives of this project are to:

– Expand knowledge and awareness on ways to prevent elder abuse at a local, national and European level;

– Share and develop innovative training material and methods and ways to raise awareness of elder abuse among volunteers, informal carers and older people and their families; and

– Engage in national elder abuse awareness raising through involvement in World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) events.

The objectives were achieved by sharing knowledge and experiences and exploring existing training materials as well as identifying other initiatives such as supportive activities including support groups, counseling services, help lines etc. for those who have experienced abuse. This gives rich and innovative ideas for training practices, methods, material and services targeted for older people.

RESULTS
The outcome of the project is an introductory training and awareness raising package for informal carers of older people – Power Point Presentation, Trainers Handbook, Table mat with resources and cards to localize the support services in cases of abuse.