THE Bendigo Post Office will turn purple Friday night and over the weekend to help mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Bendigo’s iconic tram will also don the colour purple, displaying banners with the message, “My World, Your World, Our World, Free of Elder Abuse.”
Senior Rights Victoria community lawyer Tabitha O’Shea said there was a negative view of ageing in society.
“Older people are devalued and this leads to some people becoming vulnerable to abuse,” she said.
“As our population ages, particularly in regional areas, more and more of us will be at risk. Older people need to know they don’t have to endure abuse and that help is available.” Ms O’Shea said elder abuse typically involved a family member or someone close to an older person.
“It may involve taking an older person’s money or possessions, making threats or stopping their social activities, not providing the care they need, or physical or sexual abuse,” she said.
Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre co-ordinator Peter Noble said World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was about making a stand.
“We know statistically that it affects at least four to six per cent of elderly people,” he said. “It is not a massive proportion but the proportion it does affect, it affects badly and given that it is something we can prevent, that’s what we should be doing.”
Mr Noble said it wouldn’t have been possible to light up the post office if it wasn’t for the City of Greater Bendigo’s support. For help, people can call the Senior Rights Victoria helpline on 1300 368 821.