After attending ECCV’s bicultural elder abuse education training, Kaltun Ali Bobe is on a mission to tackle the taboo of elder abuse in the Somali community.

ECCV trains community members to deliver information sessions on elder abuse prevention in their own communities. Last month, ECCV collaborated with Seniors Rights Victoria to hold a two-day training program for bicultural educators to provide in-language information sessions to their community on how to prevent elder abuse and access support services.

These bicultural educators are now equipped with the skills and resources to deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate information about elder abuse in their communities. Below is an interview with Kaltun, who completed our training program in May 2024.

Hi Kaltun, can you tell us about your professional background?

I’m an early childhood educator by profession. As a carer, my job is to provide early childhood education and care. I have a strong desire to provide a happy, nurturing learning atmosphere where kids can flourish.

How do people in your community view elder abuse?

I’m from Somalia. My community believes that elder abuse does not exist, owing to the fact that we are a Muslim community in which elders are highly respected and cared for.

However, this belief can sometimes lead to the issue being overlooked or unacknowledged, resulting in a taboo topic that is rarely discussed.

Why did you choose to learn about elder abuse?

I attended the elder abuse training session because I wanted to broaden my knowledge and help others by better understanding this critical issue.

Despite my focus on early childhood education, I recognise the importance of being educated about elder abuse in order to positively contribute to the community at large.

Did you know much about the topic before the session?

Before starting the session, I had no knowledge about elder abuse. It was a completely new area for me.

What did you learn in the session?

During the session, I learned about the various types of elder abuse, such as physical, emotional, financial, and neglect. I also learned about the warning signs, as well as the importance of reporting and intervening.

The training gave participants valuable insights into how to effectively prevent and address elder abuse.

I would certainly recommend this training to others, particularly those in caregiving roles or those who interact with the elderly in any capacity. Raising awareness of elder abuse is critical, particularly in communities where it is considered a taboo subject.

Education and open dialogue can help dispel myths and encourage more people to recognise and report elder abuse. Continuous training and community outreach are critical to ensuring that our elders are safe and respected.

Interested in becoming an elder abuse educator? Contact Ageing Well Lead Hayat Doughan on hdoughan@eccv.org.au or 0478 217 956.

This article was published in the
Winter 2024
edition of Golden Years.