The three short films address financial abuse, neglect in advanced dementia and physical abuse.

A new film series has launched to provide aged care and healthcare workers with the knowledge and confidence to respond to cases of elder abuse among people with dementia.

The National Ageing Research Institute launched the series Balancing the older person’s rights and carers needs: Elder abuse in the context of dementia  last Tuesday.

The three short films address financial abuse, neglect in advanced dementia and physical abuse of the carer by the person with dementia.

They role-play how frontline workers should respond to elder abuse and provide explicit instructions on what to do and where to go for help.

NARI director of social gerontology Associate Professor Bianca Brijnath said the films aimed to improve the care vulnerable people received.

“A consistent and fair approach to dealing with abuse in the context of dementia is possible,” Professor Brijnath said.

“Steps can be taken which keep families together and stop abuse,” she said.

The films were developed in response to NARI research that found aged care and healthcare workers wanted clearer advice on what to do when they encountered elder abuse in the context of dementia.

“Workers struggle to balance carer needs and the older person’s rights, grappling with the ethics of elder abuse because of carer stress,” Professor Brijnath said.

“They are also often unsure whether to instigate police or legal intervention.”

The film scripts were developed with older people, carers and service providers across aged care and health services.

“While performed by actors, the film’s stories are very real and were co-written with carers, older people and service providers.”

The films were developed with funding from State Trustees Australia Foundation, and in conjunction with production company Why Documentaries.

Access the free videos here.

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