The purpose of this policy is to guide commitment of all staff of Homes North in preventing and responding appropriately to the abuse of older people in line with the Preventing and Responding to Abuse of Older People: NSW Interagency Policy 2015. In addition, Homes North will act in the best interests of an older person who has been abused by upholding their rights and ensuring that the dignity and respect of older people accessing services is upheld at all times.
This policy applies to all Homes North staff in preventing and responding to the abuse of older people.
Homes North is committed to ensuring that all older tenants are protected from all forms of abuse.
This policy outlines the key principles of working with older people to identify abuse and recognise key considerations in responding to abuse of older people.
Homes North has adopted the World Health Organisation definition of elder abuse as cited in the Preventing and Responding to Abuse of Older People: NSW Interagency Policy 2015. Elder abuse can be defined as:
“A single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person”.
Elder abuse can take various forms such as financial, psychological (including social isolation) or emotional, physical and sexual abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.
Homes North recognises that abuse of older people does exist in the community and supports the general principle that older people have the right to:
Homes North is committed to dealing effectively with the abuse of older people and is committed to:
All staff play an important role in identifying suspected abuse and protecting older people by responding to suspected cases of abuse. Homes North recognises five (5) forms of abuse of older people within NSW: financial abuse, psychological abuse (including social isolation), neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse. This policy embodies the view that social isolation is a key risk factor and that older people experiencing abuse often lack social connection. Staff have a duty of care to report incidents, suspected incidents and/or changes in well-being to their manager (refer to Homes North procedures).
Homes North will respond promptly in situations of abuse of older people. Where abuse or risk of abuse of an older person has been identified Homes North will, in the first instance assess the immediate safety of the older person. If there is no immediate risk, Homes North will consider all possible referral options including the local Age Care Assessment Team, service providers working with older people and seeking advice from the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit.
Regardless of the victim’s views, agencies must ensure workers report to NSW Police any instances where:
In NSW there is a legal presumption that all adults have the mental (cognitive) capacity and ability to make their own decisions until proven otherwise.
A person lacking capacity to act or make decisions may need a guardian or financial manager if they have not appointed an enduring power of attorney or enduring guardian while they are capable.
Managers play a lead role in identifying and responding to the abuse of older people in accordance with policies and protocols and consistent with the Preventing and Responding to Abuse of Older People: NSW Interagency Policy 2015. Consideration of safety, protection, consent, confidentiality and duty of care issues:
It is the responsibility of the:
Chief Executive Officer to ensure this policy and associated procedures are applied and committed to by the Senior Management Team.
Senior Housing Managers & Asset Manager to provide the team with timely policy-related support and guidance, to ensure familiarity with this policy and related procedures, to commit to following them accordingly and where relevant, promote the policy to their team.
Employees to ensure they comply with this policy, be responsible for their own behaviour and if required, attend relevant training as provided by the company from time to time.
Contact Homes North on 6772 5133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on Elder Abuse contact NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit at: http://elderabusehelpline.com.au/
Standard 3.1 – Tenant rights
Work Health & Safety Act 2011
Age Care Act 1997
NSW Charter of Victims Rights
NSW Code of Practice for the Charter of Victims Rights
Policy no: 3.1.1\1
Adopted: April 2017