New Ask Annie module to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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Today on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Dementia Australia, in partnership with IOOF Foundation and Insignia Financial, is releasing a new education module in the Ask Annie app, to improve all care workers’ knowledge on financial elder abuse. 

Ask Annie, a mobile app, offers short, self-paced learning modules to help care workers refresh their skills and learn tips and tools to provide better care to people living with dementia.

Dementia Australia Business Innovation Manager Tanya Petrovich said the new module aims to improve care workers’ knowledge through a series of animated scenarios that explain what financial elder abuse is, how to recognise the signs and strategies to prevent or report it. 

“This will be the first time a new character, Dom, a virtual elder abuse advocate is introduced to Ask Annie,” Dr Petrovich said.

Financial elder abuse is one of the most common types of abuse experienced by older people, most often perpetrated by trusted adult children or other family members. 

“The partnership between IOOF Foundation, Insignia Financial and Dementia Australia demonstrates a collective commitment to supporting vulnerable people in the community who may experience or be at risk of experiencing financial elder abuse,” Dr Petrovich said
IOOF Foundation Chairperson Angie Dickschen said financial elder abuse is a complex issue and better understanding is key.  

“There are various factors that can lead to elder abuse, we feel it is important to work together to tackle a complex problem,” Ms Dickschen said. 

“The IOOF Foundation is proud to be partnering with Dementia Australia to enable this module to be provided to care workers with the aim to increase the understanding of financial elder abuse and truly support the most vulnerable population groups.”  

Dementia Australia Dementia Advocate Gwenda Darling lives with dementia and said ongoing education and training is vital. 

“For many senior Australians, often care workers observe changes as they are the only independent people going into their homes or residential care facilities. It is so important care workers have the skills to recognise changes and provide suitable support.”

Dementia Australia is committed to continually adding new educational content to the app to ensure care workers have the opportunity to regularly refresh their skills and knowledge.

The financial elder abuse module takes the gifted content within Ask Annie to a total of four modules and four hours of education. It will appear in the app from 15 June 2022 for all current and new users.

Ask Annie can be downloaded individually via the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

To unlock the full application with access to all modules, the cost is $60 per person per year with multi-license packages available for organisations. For information on purchasing packages please email cdl@dementia.org.au  

Ask Annie was developed by Dementia Australia with Deakin University’s Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2) and funded by a Gandel Foundation multi-year Major grant.

Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated half a million Australians living with dementia, and the almost 1.6 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to support people impacted by dementia, and to enable them to live as well as possible. No matter how you are impacted by dementia or who you are, we are here for you.

For support, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available and the Helpline is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government. People looking for information can also visit dementia.org.au 

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Media contacts: Megan Watson, Media & Communications Advisor, 0411 461 678 or Megan.Watson@dementia.org.au 

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.