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December 13, 2010

Seniors' Groups Are Calling for a National DOB-IN Line (AUSTRALIA)


SENIORS' groups are calling for a national dob-in line.
Their call comes after a string of high-profile manslaughter prosecutions of carers accused of killing their bed-ridden mothers.
Queensland authorities have laid charges against at least five in recent months, all accused of neglecting elderly women in their care.
In one case, a Brisbane woman was handed a five-year sentence for killing her mother, who died with maggot-ridden bedsores that penetrated deep into her muscle and bone.
Council of the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates yesterday called for a national approach to deal with the problem of "elder abuse", which he said was likely to continue with the ageing population.
"One of the problems is that when people suspect elder abuse, they don't know who to call," said Mr Yates. "What we need is a national 1-800 number."
Lillian Jeter, executive director of the Elder Abuse Prevention Association, called for mandatory reporting legislation, which would compel carers and health professionals to report any suspected abuse.
"But the first step has to be 1-800 lines that people can call if they see something," she said.
Mandatory reporting currently exists only in residential care, as a result of revelations in 2006 that elderly residents of a Victorian aged care home had been sexually abused.
National Seniors chief executive Michael O'Neill said every death was a tragedy but questioned the practicality of increasing oversight of carers.
"People often underestimate the demand placed on carers and the stress levels they have to deal with, particularly if they're caring for someone with a significant illness," Mr O'Neill said.



SOURCE:     The Australian


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