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Elder Abuse Action Australia

Lunch and Learn: Older People, Mental Health and Elder Abuse

Introduction: Jenny Blakey, EAAA Board Member
Facilitator: Professor Briony Dow, Director, National Ageing Institute 
Coordinated by Gary Ferguson, Education Coordinator, Senior Rights Victoria (SRV)

In this session the panel discuss the role of mental health in elder abuse. Mental health is an issue for both the older person and the perpetrator and of course there are serious mental health consequences caused by elder abuse. Panel members for this session are:

Professor Joe Ibrahim, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University

Professor Ibrahim is an academic researcher, teacher and a practising senior medical specialist in geriatric medicine with over 30 years of clinical experience. He is also a producer, co-writer and narrator of three short films about ethical issues in persons with dementia and ageing. In 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend recognised him as one of the “People Who Mattered in 2019 for Health”. 

Melanie Joosten is the policy officer at Seniors Rights Victoria, a community legal centre specialising in preventing and addressing elder abuse. She has a Master of Social Work and is the author of the book about ageing in Australia, A Long Time Coming: Essays on Old Age. 

Elizabeth (Libby) Love has been practicing social work since 2002 and has worked in Australia and the United Kingdom in clinical areas including HIV, disability and aged care. She is currently employed as a Senior Social Worker in the St Vincent’s Hospital Older People’s Mental Health Service (2010-curent) and is currently the Elder Abuse Lead at St Vincent’s Hospital where the Health Justice Partnership is in operation.   

Doctor Patricia Reyes is Director of Medical Services at the War Memorial Hospital, Waverley and Consultant Geriatrician at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. She is the clinical lead of the St. Vincent’s and War Memorial Hospital Health Justice Partnership, integrating legal services into health care. Her current research interests in elder abuse include evaluation of health justice partnerships in the prevention and response to elder abuse and investigation of screening tools to identify elder abuse in the acute geriatric wards.  

Discussion paper from Seniors Rights Victoria https://seniorsrights.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/SRV-Elder-abuse-mental-health-and-wellbeing-November-2021.pdf