Health justice partnerships

17 March 2016
Seniors Law partners with health organisations to help older people experiencing elder abuse

Seniors Law has established two health justice partnerships (HJP) – one with cohealth and the other with St Vincent's Hospital – to help older people experiencing elder abuse and other legal issues. Building on the findings from these HJPs, Justice Connect has received funding to expand the service in Victoria - at Caulfield Hospital - and in NSW. 

By incorporating a lawyer into a health care team, the partners aim to improve legal and health outcomes for older clients by:

  • minimising the incidence and impact of elder abuse
  • articulating and demonstrating a HJP model of practice

Li’s story illustrates the potential of the HJP model of service delivery to promote access to justice for older clients who are experiencing elder abuse.

The Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner has generously funded the HJP with cohealth for three years. The Department of Health and Human Services and Victoria Legal Aid, through Seniors Rights Victoria, have contributed funding to the HJP with St Vincent's Hospital.

In expanding the service, generous funding has been provided by Equity Trustees and the Department of Family and Community Services New South Wales - to establish a HJP addressing elder abuse in NSW - as well as Perpetual Trustees and the Collier Charitable Fund for a 12 month pilot HJP with Alfred Health at Caulfield Hospital.

Findings from the cohealth HJP

At the completion of the first year of the HJP, Justice Connect and cohealth have released a report outlining:

  • why have a HJP to address elder abuse?
  • how did the partners develop the HJP?
  • what impact has the HJP had?