ELDER ABUSE SOLUTIONS: Serge Sardo, CEO of FMC Mediation and Counselling, announcing the new Melbourne support service.
ELDER ABUSE SOLUTIONS: Serge Sardo, CEO of FMC Mediation and Counselling, announcing the new Melbourne support service.

Alternative conflict resolution option for Melbourne seniors

MELBOURNE older Australians now have access to a free elder abuse counselling service which targets dealing with the issue before it reaches the point of legal resolution.

Age Discrimination commissioner Dr Kay Patterson joined Family Mediation and Counselling Services Victoria chief executive officer Serge Sardo to make the announcement of the launch of the new Respecting Elders service.

Dr Patterson said at the launch, "In many cases, older people who suffer abuse at the hands of their family members would prefer not to have authorities involved and Respecting Elders supported mediation and counselling service can be a way to deal with this complicated issue".

Mr Sardo said FMC has already been providing mediation services to seniors for several years.

"What we have noticed is that mediation is sometimes the last option for them. We decided to have a service that gives them support and wrap-around services before that point. We want to try and resolve the issue without going into formal mediation.

"The service we have launched today is a support and conflict resolution service. It has a large preventative component to it.

"Essentially we want to get to the issue before it becomes so problematic that there is no hope of resolution, or of restoring the family which is often what the elders want; they don't want to go down a formal pathway because often it destroys the family."

Respecting Elders: Respecting Elders is a philantrophically funded service that supports older people in resolving conflict in their lives and preventing elder abuse. Supported by the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation in partnership with Senior's Rights Victoria and the Eastern Community Legal Centre.
Respecting Elders: Respecting Elders is a philantrophically funded service that supports older people in resolving conflict in their lives and preventing elder abuse. Supported by the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation in partnership with Senior's Rights Victoria and the Eastern Community Legal Centre.

It is estimated that six to 10 percent of older Victorians experience elder abuse, with older women reported as 72.5% of those in Victoria suffering elder abuse.

The National Ageing Research Institute reports more than 90% of elder abuse occurs within the family context and is most likely to be perpetrated by a son or daughter of the older person.

The Respecting Elders service is being funded by the Lord Mayor's Charitable Fund.

For more information on the service, ring 1800 639 523 or go to http://www.mediation.com.au/how-we-can-help/mediation-dispute-resolution/respecting-elders.