World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is commemorated each year on June 15.
Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.
Stawell Regional Health, Grampians Community Health, Eventide Homes and Stawell Neighbourhood house have collaborated together to raise awareness within the Stawell and surrounding communities.
The health organisations are hosting a morning tea proceeding a yarn bombing of a tree at Cato Lake on Friday, June 14 at 11am.
The tree will be covered with knitted and sewn items within the community in the colour purple - the colour associated with the awareness campaign.
Eventide Homes projects and marketing officer Toni Williams said everyone within the community was invited to the event.
"We would like to invite community members to be part of a temporary art installation called a 'Yarn Bomb' to promote awareness for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day," she said.
"People can also contribute to the day by simply creating a purple piece of knit, fabric or crochet work, which will be used to literally cover a dedicated tree in purple at Cato Lake.
"You can drop your creative knit into Stawell Neighbourhood House, Sloane Street, Stawell anytime before Thursday 13th of June, where items will be prepared ready for the yarn bomb."
Grampians Community Health's people and community support general manager Kathy Day said it was really important for all the sectors to work together for the community.
"Identification of elder abuse isn't isolated to the health sector banks, shop assistants, neighbours, everyone needs to be aware of what to be on the lookout for," she said.
"Seniors Rights Victoria have a lot of resources and are a formal contact point. We encourage anyone who needs advice, to get in touch with the organisation or to come to someone in the area who they trust and can assist them in raising their concerns."
People may be unsure of what to do in a situation where they feel something isn't quite right. This is what the awareness day is about. It's not people saying someone is doing something wrong, it's about checking in and making sure the right this is being done by the elderly in our community.
Warning signs of elder abuse may include an older person seeming fearful, anxious or isolated. There may be injuries or an absence of personal care. Unexplained changes to legal documents or finances are also of concern. Most elder abuse occurs behind closed doors, so it is important for loved ones to watch out for signs, listen and offer help.
If you are experiencing elder abuse or concerned about an older person, you can get help by calling Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821 Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm, or by visiting www.seniorsrights.org.au.
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