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Elder abuse prevention campaign steps up

Volunteers who work with older Victorians are being offered training resources to assist them in recognising and responding to elder abuse.

Victoria University is holding a Volunteer Industry Day on Thursday 12 May to showcase resources, strategies and training available to volunteers to help them support the older people they work with. Working in partnership with Meals Victoria, the RSL, Legacy, Volunteering Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria, organisations that have a volunteer workforce are being encouraged to attend.

The one-day workshop kicks off the second stage of a statewide program being rolled out by the University on behalf of the Department of Health.

"We are delivering a professional education training program for the Department of Health and realised that volunteers were a vital contact for older persons and many services," said program manager Sue Marshall.

 "Now we are working with the volunteer sector to make sure they are able to access the available resources to support their teams in implementing a prevention strategy.

"Sadly, as the population ages and extended family units are more likely to be fragmented, we have found that the incidence of elder abuse is growing.  However, with some simple steps seniors can be supported to protect themselves from the risk of abuse very effectively."

Speakers include representatives from Volunteering Victoria, the Department of Health, and community legal service Seniors Rights Victoria.

Groups will be offered assistance in using the elder abuse prevention strategy training resources for their volunteers and paid staff.

The workshop will be conducted by the University's Sir Zelman Cowen Centre at Legacy House, 293 Swanston Street, Melbourne on 12 May 2011. Registrations are essential as numbers are limited. To register contact: 9919 1843

Further information: Sue Marshall, 0400 921 162

Media inquiries: Jim Buckell, External Communications Manager,

Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University

Ph: (03) 9919 4243; mobile: 0400 465 459; email: jim.buckell@vu.edu.au

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