The Warm Safe Home Project is an online craft project developed by Dr Becky Nevin Berger and run by the South West Victoria Elder Abuse Prevention Network to raise awareness of elder abuse.
The Warm Safe Home Project uses the icon of the house to talk about older people’s right to feel safe and live free from fear. In many cultures the home is the key to our sense of safety. Our homes shelter us from the outside world and provide a space in which to carry out our lives and interact with our loved ones. In elder abuse situations however, the home can become a place of danger.
Our aim was to create 500 little houses to be installed in Gateway Plaza Warrnambool in time for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 2020. We have been working with schools, community groups, and Men’s Sheds from around South West Victoria to achieve this goal. In response to the social distancing measures in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19 we have postponed all face-to-face work on this project, including our installation at Gateway Plaza. In late March we took our project to the post – mailing kits out to people and sharing images of their completed houses on our Facebook page:
Many other organisations around Victoria have also connected with the Warm Safe Home Project as a way to highlight older people’s equal right to live free from fear. Watching the way people respond to this art based primary prevention work and make their own has been wonderful.
Elder abuse is any act that cause harm to an older person and is carried out by someone that they trust such as a family member, friend, or carer. Elder abuse can be physical, psychological/emotional, financial, sexual, social, or neglect.
If you have concerns about a suspected elder abuse situation there are things you can do. Seniors Rights Victoria runs a confidential helpline 10am – 5pm Monday – Friday 1300 368 821. If someone is in danger call 000. The South West Victoria Elder Abuse Prevention Network is coordinated by South West Carer and Respite Services Network. It is one of 10 Elder Abuse Prevention Networks funded by the Victorian State Government. More information about the Victorian Government’s Elder Abuse Prevention and Response Program can be found here: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/ageing-and-aged-care/wellbeing-and-participation/preventing-elder-abuse