1.64     The overall effect of the ALRC’s recommendations in the Report, Elder Abuse—A National Legal Response, will be to safeguard older people from abuse and support their choices and wishes through:

  • improved responses to elder abuse in aged care;

  • enhanced employment screening of aged care workers;

  • greater scrutiny regarding the use of restrictive practices in residential aged care;

  • building trust and confidence in enduring documents as important advance planning tools;

  • protecting older people when ‘assets for care’ arrangements go wrong;

  • banks and financial institutions protecting vulnerable customers from abuse;

  • better succession planning across the SMSF sector; and

  • adult safeguarding regimes protecting and supporting at-risk adults.

1.65     These outcomes should be further pursued through a National Plan to combat elder abuse and new empirical research into the prevalence of elder abuse.

1.66     This Inquiry has acknowledged that elder abuse is indeed ‘everybody’s business’. It is also everybody’s responsibility—a responsibility not only to recognise elder abuse, but most importantly, to respond to it effectively. The recommendations in the Report address what legal reform can do to prevent abuse from occurring and to provide clear responses and redress when abuse occurs.

1.67     Ageing eventually comes to all Australians and ensuring that all older people live dignified and autonomous lives free from the pain and degradation of elder abuse must be a priority.