Safety in spotlight at seniors forum
SAFETY, inclusion and aged-care services were all in the spotlight at a seniors forum attended by Minister for Seniors and Ageing Mick Murray on Tuesday.
Nearly 100 people packed Kadidjiny Park Hall for the event, which gave older residents an opportunity to meet with Mr Murray, Palmyra Police Station officer-incharge Senior Sergeant Gavin Radice and Council on the Ageing (COTA) chief executive Mark Teale and director Bob Kucera.
Mr Kucera, a former police officer and Labor minister, spoke primarily about safety and crime prevention.
He said that, statistically, seniors were far less likely to be a victim of crime than other sectors of the population, but advised elderly people to leave their wallets, keys and other valuables in an easily locatable place in their homes to minimise the risk of confrontation and violent burglaries .
He also advised seniors to catch public transport and complete their weekly shop in a group if possible, as well as to use the ATMs inside shopping centres rather than out on the street.
One area of crime where seniors were over-represented was online scams and Mr Kucera said seniors should exercise extreme caution when using the internet.
“Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it is,” he said.
“You might think that you’re speaking online with a handsome widower, but it’s far more likely to be a Nigerian scammer.”
He finished by suggesting that people get to know their neighbours and set up a “telephone tree” so that everyone in the suburb is quickly alerted and turns on their outside lights if there is an incident.
Sergeant Radice said the perception was far worse than the reality when it came to crime against seniors and that there had been a 19 per cent reduction in offences in the Palmyra sub-district, which covers the majority of the City of Melville, in the past year.
Responding to a question about a lack of information provided to recently diagnosed dementia patients and their carers, Mr Murray said he was working on addressing the lack of cohesion between medical and aged-care services.
COTA director Bob Kucera, Bicton MLA Lisa O’Malley and Minister for Seniors and Ageing Mick Murray.