New billboard at Macarthur station puts elder abuse in spotlight

SWSLHD chief executive Amanda Larkin (from left) joined the Ageing and Disability Commissioner of NSW, Robert Fitzgerald, Professor Friedbert Kohler, Bradley Warner and Allied Health and Community Services director Sue Colley.
SWSLHD chief executive Amanda Larkin (from left) joined the Ageing and Disability Commissioner of NSW, Robert Fitzgerald, Professor Friedbert Kohler, Bradley Warner and Allied Health and Community Services director Sue Colley.

A new billboard has been erected at Macarthur train station to raise awareness that elder abuse will not be tolerated.

The billboard located on Platform 3 states, 'Everyone has the right to live free from abuse' and features an elderly woman.

It also encourages people to phone the Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline on 1800 628 221 to report abuse in the family, home or community and for support and information.

South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) aged care and rehabilitation clinical manager Bradley Warner said the billboard was designed to start conversations and protect some of the most vulnerable members of the community.

"It also encourages people to look for signs of elder abuse and tells them how to report it and seek support for anyone experiencing abuse,'' Mr Warner said.

South western Sydney is forecast to experience significant growth in its older population over the next 10 years.

The number of people aged over 70 years in the region is expected to increase by 91 per cent to 161,350 in 2031.

This is an extra 77,000 older residents.

SWSLHD chief executive Amanda Larkin said elder abuse would not be tolerated because everyone deserved to live in peace and without fear in the community.

"The billboard is also a great example of the work the South Western Sydney Elder Abuse Collaborative is doing,'' Ms Larkin said.

"This group was formed in 2017 and brings together individuals and organisations from a variety of backgrounds with the shared vision to raise awareness about elder abuse.

"The billboard is a powerful symbol of this important collaboration and I thank everyone involved in this project for your commitment to older residents and their families across the District.''

It was launched by the Ageing and Disability Commissioner of NSW, Robert Fitzgerald, in the lead-up to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Tuesday, June 15.

The billboard, funded by SWSLHD, will be on display on the station platform for three months.