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Elder abuse survey

Briefs

Cite as: April 2012 86 (04) LIJ, p.12

How much do you know about financial abuse of the elderly and the vulnerable?

According to lobby group Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV), financial abuse is the most common type of elder abuse reported to the service.

Lawyers have a special role to play in the prevention of this kind of abuse, SRV manager Jenny Blakey said.

“Financial abuse occurs in private, often within families and can be hidden from view. However lawyers are uniquely placed to observe whether someone is protecting their own interests when it comes to big decisions around changes to their property and other assets,” she said.

The lobby group has just released a survey to gauge the level of awareness of the issue among Victoria’s legal profession.

The survey is part of a broader SRV legal education project aimed at raising awareness of the potential for risky transactions among vulnerable older people and their advisers. The project will result in a practice guide and professional development program for legal professionals as well as a resource for use in educating the community.

LIV president Michael Holcroft encouraged members to participate in the survey.

“Financial abuse of older people is a growing concern in our community and lawyers need to be able to respond,” he said. “The SRV project will offer important guidance to practitioners and the survey provides you with a significant opportunity to contribute.”

The survey, which can be accessed at http://tinyurl.com/7hxhmel should take about 10 minutes to complete.

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