Bellarine Community Health (BCH) clients and Point Lonsdale Primary School Grade 5/6 students came together to ‘share a cuppa’ in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15.
June 15 is recognised worldwide as the day to highlight the rights of older people in our community and the need to prevent elder abuse, commonly inflicted by family members.
“Bringing our social support clients and the local primary students together is a great way to show the benefits of inter-generational interaction,” said BCH Social Support Manager Karen Crockford.
“It’s also important to raise awareness about elder abuse to ensure older people are respected in our community.”
Lots of purple, the official colour of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was on display during the morning tea and games session, which was held in the social support activities room at BCH.
Point Lonsdale Primary School Principal Fay Agterhuis actively supports opportunities for her students to have real life experiences.
“For the students to ‘share a cuppa’ and a conversation is such a thrill, and it highlights the importance grandparents, or grandparent figures can play in the lives of young people,” she said.
“The kids love spending time with the older people and when you listen, you can hear some amazing conversations between them.”
Sadly, many relationships between older people and their families can be quite complicated, with grandparents facing challenges such as estrangement from grandchildren; pressure to provide financial or other support; issues related to informal caregiving; and concern for the safety of grandchildren in family violence situations.
If you are experiencing elder abuse, or concerned about an older person, you can get help by calling Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821, or by visiting www.seniorsrights.org.au.
To find out more about the BCH Social Support program, visit bch.org.au/groups/social-support-groups/