The UN General Assembly has designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Elder abuse is an increasing and serious problem that affects health and human rights so it is vital to raise awareness of it and thus prevent it whenever and wherever possible.
VoiVa Coop’s on-going Erasmus+ projects Two Moons and TISOVA aim to prevent and raise awareness of violence against older people. Two Moons project specifically focuses on older people’s human rights. For the WEAAD this year, the project partners co-created a campaign video on older people’s human rights. See it below.
For more information about these projects, see the following links:
The online course on How to Identify & Support Older Victims of Abuse, created in partnership in the Erasmus + funded TISOVA project and administered by the University of Tartu, will begin on November 4th, 2019. The course is particularly aimed at professionals who work at senior/day care centres, volunteers and senior citizens. The course seeks to provide the target groups with the skills to identify and provide assistance to older adults who have experienced abuse and neglect. A certification of a completed course will be provided.
The UN General Assembly has designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Elder abuse is a global social issue which affects the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of the international community.
With a growing global population of elderly people, and as longevity increases, abuse of the elderly is an increasing and serious problem that affects health and human rights and can cause death, so it is vital to raise awareness of it and thus prevent it whenever and wherever possible.
VoiVa Coop’s on-going Erasmus+ projects SAFE (Safer Life for Older Women), TISOVA (Training to Identify and Support Older Victims of Abuse) and Two Moons all aim to prevent and raise awareness of violence against older people.
For more information about these projects, see the following links:
The TISOVA project (2017-2020), funded under the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission, seeks to train employees and volunteers of senior centres as well as older people to identify and provide assistance for older victims of abuse. Within the interactive training program developed as an outcome of the project, the main objective is to educate these key groups on violence perpetrated against elderly, as well as on the experiences and specific needs of elderly victims of abuse.
The first publication of the project, ”Analytical Report on Abuse of Older Women in Selected European Countries”has now been published. The report explores existing research on violence against older women as well as experiences and needs of both older women and professionals in the project countries. The report works as the foundation for the currently developed training curriculum in the project.
The TISOVA (Training to Identify and Support Older Victims of Abuse) project, funded under the Erasmus+ element of the European Commission in years 2017-2020, will organise a partner meeting in Eurooppasali, Helsinki, Finland from Wednesday 12 September until Friday 14 September 2018. More than a dozen representatives from partner countries Finland, Estonia, Greece and Austria will take part in the meeting. Read the full press release here.
– Around 1 in 6 older people globally experienced some form of abuse in the past year. – Rates of abuse may be higher for older people living in institutions than in the community. – Elder abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences. – Elder abuse is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations. – The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050.
Raising awareness of and increasing knowledge on elder abuse is a way to prevent it. It also encourages older people to speak up when their rights are violated. VoiVa Coop raises awareness of elder abuse and older people’s human rights through its EU projects (WHOSEFVA, TISOVA, SAFE).
Empowering Old Age Coop VoiVa participated in SOSTE, the Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health, fair event 29 May 2018. SOSTE is a national umbrella organisation that gathers together 200 social and health NGO’s and dozens of other partner members in Finland. The representative of the Coop, Sirkka Perttu, told the participants about the on-going Erasmus+ project “Training to Identify and Support Older Victims of Abuse – TISOVA.
The fair event is a networking and training event targeted for social and health care associations and service providers. The presentations given in the fair were watched through Twitter by 411 viewers in total. Additional 469 viewers saw recordings of the presentations.
The Northern service area of Helsinki city is actively participating in the development work of the TISOVA project in Finland. The project steering group consists of representatives from various units of Kustaankartano and Syystie Comprehensive Service Centres, including short-term care, respite care, family carers’ support, home care, gerontological social work as well as voluntary work.
The steering group has discussed the characteristics of and challenges related to elder abuse that professionals encounter in their daily work. The professionals were able to identify real-life cases of violence and neglect. However, it was recognised that intervention and taking care of the safety of an older person in such cases often requires building a long-term professional relationship with the client. Talking about violet experiences and allowing oneself to receive help requires courage.
In cases where the perpetrator is also the main carer, the older person may be afraid if s/he will be able to survive without the assistance the perpetrator provides. Additionally, sometimes taking care of one’s children is seen as a higher priority than one’s own safety. Various symptoms caused by memory disorders may also lead to risky situations with one’s elderly spouse.
As part of the project in January 2018, an open discussion event was organised to the older people visiting the service centres. The response was positive. The theme of human rights turned out to be of particular interest for the older participants. Intrigued by the event, a number of older woman signed up for a group that gathered together three times during the spring. The women were highly interested in learning about international human rights, particularly from the older people’s perspective. Further themes of the group were independence, self-determination and the right to be heard. A topic was older women’s experiences of sexual harassment and abuse.
The steering group decided to organise a series of training targeting the health and social care professionals of their area. There were in total four training events in different parts of the Helsinki Northern service area. 55 professionals from home care and other units of the service centres participated in these events. The participants were worried about the safety of their older clients and identified abusive experiences and situations. A common concern raised relates to the challenges of working in elderly care.
Despite their hectic work schedules, the professionals take a genuine interest in their clients and their well-being. As part of the training events, a questionnaire was used to collect the experiences and views of the elderly care professionals. The collected data reflecting their educational needs is aimed to serve the final output of the TISOVA project, an interactive training handbook. Training will be provided also in the older women’s groups in autumn 2018.