Older people in Tweed will be empowered to recognise and speak up about elder abuse following a workshop to be held in Tweed on Monday, 14 May, to mark the upcoming 2018 Law Week. 

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today announced Legal Aid NSW and the Seniors Rights Service have partnered with local experts to deliver the workshop.

“This important event will bust myths, and start a conversation between older people and their loved ones,” Mr Provest said. 

“It’s crucial that older people understand how the law can work to protect them, and that they know where to get help if things go wrong.”

Participants will view a screening of the film Piano Forte, which explores legal issues such as wills, enduring powers of attorney and elder abuse. After the film local experts will lead an audience discussion. 

Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies said financial abuse is one of the most prevalent forms of elder abuse and family members are sadly often the perpetrators. 

“A common scenario might involve an older person being pressured to ‘go guarantor’ on a home loan to help a child or grandchild get a foothold on the property ladder. In the worst cases, victims are fleeced of their savings by a relative or carer,” Mrs Davies said.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the event, being held in 12 regional and city locations across the State, would also highlight the importance of planning ahead.

“All too often, families are left making tough decisions that could have been made easier through early planning. Simple things like writing a will and choosing someone you trust to make decisions for you if you need them to, can offer real peace of mind,” Mr Speakman said. 

The free workshop Piano Forte – Legal Issues for Older People will take place at Richmond-Tweed Regional Library on Monday, 14 May, from 10am to 12pm and will feature experts from Legal Aid NSW, the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre and the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit. Places will be strictly limited – call the library on (07) 5569 3150 to secure yours. 

For information on National Law Week 14-20 May visit www.lawweek.com.au. Anyone who experiences or suspects elder abuse should call the NSW Government’s NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit on 1800 628 221 or visit www.elderabusehelpline.com.au.