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Financial Abuse of Older Australians – New Tool for Bank Staff
Posted by Marketing on March 17, 2015
An estimated 150,000 Australians over the age of 65 are subject to financial abuse, from either family members or other people in their lives. A large part of this group suffers from cognitive impairments, such as dementia.
Financial abuse is a criminal offense and a serious issue for customer services staff in banks. In the fight against financial abuse, a simple online learning tool has now been developed. The tool aims to help bank staff understand the signs and symptoms of dementia. Developed by Capacity Australia, in conjunction with Smart Sparrow, the tool is a product of more than seven years research at the University of New South Wales.
According to Australian Bankers' Association chief executive, Steven Münchenberg trials of the online tool have shown almost 100% improvement in identifying risk.
Educating bank staff on how to prevent financial abuse, is only part of the solution. Alzheimer’s Australia recently conducted a research project that aimed to understand how financial abuse occurs, including identifying gaps in law and policy. It also looked at identifying how to reduce the likelihood of financial abuse occurring, in addition to educating people with dementia, their carers and their service providers.
Southern Cross Care (WA) Inc. takes any type of abuse seriously and has policies, processes, registers monitoring and reporting systems in place to mitigate risks to clients with cognitive impairment. The systems are reviewed regularly to ensure effectiveness of processes and contemporary practices are deployed tailored to the clinical settings.
Tracey King, Head of Marketing at Southern Cross Care (WA) Inc. advises families, staff and residents that believe there is a potential issue to seek information from Advocare. “Advocare supports and protects the right of older people and people with disabilities. If you are concerned about your loved one, Advocare can stand by you and provide advocacy where needed.” Ms King said.
Click here to read the full research paper, including recommendations made by Alzheimer’s Australia.



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