Justice and Legal Issues
Seven Minute Legal – Come and Live with us Mum!

A series of ten short radio programs on aspects of elder abuse. Produced at PBA FM and included in Learning Works, a weekly lifelong learning radio and internet initiative. PBA FM acknowledges the assistance of the Law Foundation of South Australia.

Pictured during Law Week 2006 at the launch of Seven Minute Legal – Come and live with us Mum are, from left, David Meyer (Law Society of SA), Margaret Brown (Research Fellow, The Hawke Institute, University of South Australia), Tony Ryan (PBA FM) and Michael O’Connell (SA Victims of Crime Co-ordinator)

The definition of elder abuse used widely around Australia is "Any act occurring within a relationship where there is an implication of trust, which results in harm to an older person. Abuse can include physical, sexual, financial, psychological and social abuse and/or neglect". This definition was endorsed by all Australian states and territories through the Healthy Ageing Taskforce (HATF) on 8 December 2000.

My interest in this topic came about whilst producing two earlier radio series on Aspects of Ageing. In one of these series, we touched on financial abuse. This was my introduction to wider issue of elder abuse, and was the genesis of this present series.

Come and live with us Mum may seem to be an unusual series title. Yet examples of abuse relating to home and money came up quite often during the interviews, and so the title Come and live with us Mum seemed to be a good way to gain the attention of radio audiences, and interest them in following this issue over several weeks.

Through community radio, it is hoped that this series, made possible with the support of the Law Foundation of South Australia, will help to raise public awareness of the issue of elder abuse. And as part of a lifelong learning initiative using the still very relevant medium of radio supported by ongoing availability through the internet, Come and live with us Mum should be a timely reminder that abuse of any kind, and in this instance, of older Australians, is not OK.

Tony Ryan
Producer/Presenter, Seven Minute Legal



The PBA FM team at the launch of Seven Minute Legal – Come and live with us Mum, from left, Steve Brown (Management Committee Chairman), Richard Walford (Treasurer), Denise Guest (Manager PBA FM), and Tony Ryan (Producer/Presenter Learning Works)

PBA FM and the Come and live with us Mum production team wish to thank the following people for their valued interviews for this lifelong learning project:

Margaret Brown Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia
Gabrielle Canny Manager Access Services, Legal Services Commission, South Australia
Jennifer Corkhill Solicitor
Marilyn Crabtree Manager, Aged Rights Advocacy Service, South Australia
Deej Eszenyi President, Law Society of South Australia
John Harley Public Advocate, South Australia
Richard Hearn Chief Executive Officer, Resthaven Inc, Adelaide
Michael O’Connell Victims of Crime Co-ordinator, South Australia
Stephen Walsh QC President, SA Institute of Justice Studies Inc

Online Resources

My story:
By way of introduction, two case studies involving financial abuse of an older person:

Audio - “Mary”
Audio - “Max”

Programs 1 and 2
They said I could live there till I died!
What is elder abuse? Often it is abuse by sons and daughters; Not as much attention as child abuse; Societal attitudes to older people.
Contributors: Margaret Brown, Gabrielle Canny, Marilyn Crabtree, Deej Eszenyi

Audio – Program 1
Audio – Program 2

Programs 3 and 4
She had to climb out the bathroom window!

Psychological and physical abuse; Abuse might not be reported for fear of retribution, loss of home or family etc; Incident reporting; Federal Government standards for residential care accreditation.
Contributors: Marilyn Crabtree, Michael O’Connell, Richard Hearn, Stephen Walsh QC.

Audio – Program 3
Audio – Program 4

Programs 5 and 6
It’s so often the sons or daughters!

Financial abuse by family members or by those in society who prey on older people.
Contributors: Jennifer Corkhill, Marilyn Crabtree, Deej Eszenyi, Michael O’Connell

Audio – Program 5
Audio – Program 6

Programs 7 and 8
Some Legal considerations

Individual rights; Concept of legal / mental capacity; Key end of life decisions; Safeguards, including ensuring that arrangements for powers of attorney and advance directives are in place early.
Contributors: Margaret Brown, Deej Eszenyi, John Harley, Michael O’Connell

Audio – Program 7
Audio – Program 8

Programs 9 and 10
Abuse is not OK!

Finding assistance; Valuing our older people and recognising the contribution so many make in society today; Elder abuse is NOT OK!
Contributors: Margaret Brown, Gabrielle Canny. Deej Esjenyi, Michael O’Connell

Audio – Program 9
Audio – Program 10

PBA-FM 89.7