Prevention of elder abuse will be targeted by Macedon Ranges council this year.

The council will establish one of Victoria’s 10 state government-funded Elder Abuse Prevention Networks to look at the needs and experiences of Macedon Ranges’ older people who could be subject to abuse.

Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the project aimed to strengthen and support older people in the community.

“Elder abuse is any form of violence and mistreatment that causes harm to an older person and occurs within a relationship of trust,” Cr Anderson said. “Through this project we hope to find out more about ways we can support older people so this doesn’t happen.

“It is estimated that about six per cent of older people [in Australia] experience such abuse.”

There is no current data about elder abuse for the Macedon Ranges, but the council said it hoped the project would indicate its prevalence locally.

Cr Anderson said the network would encourage residents to recognise elder abuse and to report the behaviour.

“We also plan to raise awareness about elder abuse so it is more likely to be reported,” she said.

The network will work with elderly service providers, older people and the community to work to prevent the abuse.

For information call 1300 368 821 or visit www.seniorsrights.org.au