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Jo Goodhew Your MP PDF Print E-mail

Jo Goodhew MP for Rangitata DIARY


Committed to keeping our seniors safe

All seniors deserve to be treated with dignity and with care, whatever their background or circumstances.
They deserve to be able to trust their families and those close to them, but the sad reality is 79 per cent of older New Zealanders who’re abused are harmed by family members and 43 per cent of victims live with their abusers.
Elder abuse is a serious and growing problem in all our communities throughout New Zealand. Up to 70,000 seniors will experience some form of elder abuse this year – either physical, psychological, sexual, financial or neglectful. Sadly, most cases are not reported, as the victims are too ashamed to admit they are being abused.
Older Ashburton residents are not immune from elder abuse but are fortunate to have the services of two support groups, Age Concern and Senior Citizens.
Age Concern run its very successful 206 Club three days each week. The club provides regular exercise classes, outings, music and entertainment, quizzes, educational speakers and meals. 
They also support older people with a range of other services while Senior Citizens provide support and advocacy services and a visitor service to their clients along with social events and a friendship group.
Alongside these organisations we also have a very active Grey Power group in Ashburton.
Given our ageing population, this serious and growing problem requires a different approach and more effective and accessible help and intervention, wherever and whenever victims need it.
From July 1, our new Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS) put the victims of elder abuse first. The cornerstone of EARS is a free and confidential 24/7 help-line, 0800 32 668 65 (0800 EA NOT OK).
Registered nurses will be on the other end of the phone to listen and advise anyone who needs information or support about elder abuse - whether they’re the victim or someone who’s concerned it might be happening to a friend or family member.
There will be a wider geographical spread of service providers to help more at risk elderly people than ever before, with a range of organisations around the country funded to be able to intervene quickly and step in to help victims of elder abuse.
The new service will be able to serve different ethnic groups, with translation services available to the free 24/7helpline, and providers selected to ensure services are culturally responsive.
In addition to longstanding providers like Age Concern receiving a funding increase, 18 new organisations will be involved, including 10 Age Concern branches being funded for the first time.
We’ve increased funding for these services and have negotiated new contracts with organisations that have been selected specifically based on their ability to deliver an effective intervention service for our vulnerable older people.
Our SuperSeniors Champions are also adding their voices to help spread the word and encourage people to speak out and ask for advice and help about elder abuse. Included in the list of those championing our older people are Dame Malvina Major, Sir Jon Trimmer, Sir Peter Snell, Dame Kate Harcourt and Precious McKenzie.
In Ashburton, Age Concern also recognised a number of people who support and provide services to our older residents as Champions of Dignity and Respect. I was one of those recognised and proudly display my Champions of Dignity and Respect certificate in my Ashburton office.

Authorised by Jo Goodhew MP, 139 Stafford St, Timaru


Jo Goodhew MP for Rangitata
139 Stafford St, Timaru 7910 - 03-683-1386
75 Harrison Street, Ashburton - 03-308 7510
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Authorised by Jo Goodhew, 139 Stafford St, Timaru
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