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Service Agreement Information Kit for Funded Organisations

4.17 With respect to age - 2009 (elder abuse prevention practice guidelines)

Department of Health and Human Services

Who does this policy apply to?

This guide applies to manager/s and workers that support older people in:

  • health services such as hospitals (including emergency departments); rehabilitation and subacute services, nursing and allied health services provided in the home and other settings, community health services
  • community based agencies such as: local government; not-for-profit organisations and private organisations involved in that provision of community aged care services (including Commonwealth funded services); respite services; mental health services for older people; community legal aid services; family violence support services; services that support the indigenous community and services that support people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Policy purpose

The purpose of this guide is to:

  • outline the Victorian Government response to the abuse of older people who live in their home, in the community
  • provide practical guidance to develop agency policies and procedures to respond and act on suspicion or allegation of elder abuse
  • support the development and review of interagency protocols that enable cooperation in responding to elder abuse
  • provide a range of resources that assist and reinforce the development of policies, procedures and protocols
  • strengthen the capacity of health services and community service organisations to respond with confidence to prevent and to address, elder abuse as required.

Legislation and /or regulation

This guide is not bound by one legislation or regulation.

Organisation requirements

Funded organisations are obliged to consider these guidelines. The approach is a combination of service responses and legal interventions which protect the independence, dignity and safety of senior Victorians.

The Victorian Government’s approach is based on empowering older people, consistent with the universal human right to live life free from violence and abuse. It also reflects a commitment to support the safety, security and dignity of all older people in our community.

The Victorian Government practice guidelines for health services and community agencies for the prevention of elder abuse have been updated. These practice guidelines 'With respect to age - 2009' are available at (external link, opens in a new window).

For further information

Alison Beckett, Senior Policy Adviser, Policy and Analysis Unit, Ageing and Aged Care Branch
Telephone: (03) 9096 7924