We believe that there is no elder abuse in the Filipino community because Filipinos have tightly-knit families. We respect our elders and we value our family. Sadly, there is an alarming increase of elder abuse cases in Filipino homes, according to community leaders who are part of the Filipino Advisory Group for the Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Victoria’s (ECCV) project on Community education on elder abuse. The second meeting was held last 27 August 2013 at the ECCV Statewide Resource Centre.
Fiona York, Seniors Project Officer of ECCV, facilitated the group discussion. The members shared personal experiences of Filipino elderlies here in Australia and identified triggers and risk factors. There are also barriers which stop elderlies from talking or seeking help, such as fear of affecting reputation, fear of breaking relationships, or fear of looking ungrateful.
Elder abuse which comes in different forms like intimidation or threats against the elderly, financial control, or neglect should be identified and those suffering from abuse need to acknowledge and seek help from authorities. However, Fiona said that despite addressing the rights of the elderlies, the key message should be—keep the family together and not break relationships.
The group’s next meeting is on 15 October 2013.