Supporting the community’s elderly

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Five Questions With . . . Age Concern Otago social worker Gina Cracroft-Wilson

Q What does your role at Age Concern Otago involve?

My position with Age Concern Otago specifically involves responding to reports of elder abuse or neglect throughout Central Otago.

Unfortunately, elder abuse does not discriminate and, shamefully, one in 10 older New Zealanders are abused and 75% of those instances are by family members.

While abuse comes in many forms the majority of cases involve financial abuse.

Q What do you enjoy about your job?

Connecting with and supporting older people to live safely.

I enjoy meeting and learning from other people, including the elderly and the dedicated professionals who support my work.

Professionals like police, lawyers, health workers and work and income (Ministry of Social Development), who all work together as a team to ensure the safety of older people.

Q If there is a message you would like to share with the community, what would it be?

Be aware of and take notice of the older people in your community, neighbourhood and family. Respect their knowledge and the contribution they have made in creating the community you live in.

Q How can people do their bit to assist the elderly within their community?

Break down the isolation and loneliness of our vulnerable older people.

A smile can make a world of difference, words of kindness can make their day and asking someone if they are OK may save their life.

If you have concerns about an older person, talk to someone.

Give me a call and discuss your worries. A phone call doesn’t take much.

Q What are the best words of advice you have ever been given by an elder?

Our world is a precious place, take care of it, yourself and those around you every day.

Live life each day as if it is your last and remember to be kind to one another.