Discussing elder abuse through theatre – Piano Forte

A video of a play developed to stimulate discussion around financial elder abuse, power of attorney and other legal issues has been screened to hundreds of people around NSW.

Titled Piano Forte, the play explores the mistreatment of older people, and the screenings, followed by panel discussions with local experts, aim to reduce the shame and stigma around elder abuse and encourage people to open up about their own experiences.

Throughout May, Piano Forte was screened at libraries in 17 locations around NSW, from suburban Sydney to as far afield as Wagga, Kempsey, Orange and the Richmond/Tweed.

Part of a pilot program to trial innovative education strategies around elder abuse and legal issues, the screenings and discussions were facilitated by Seniors Rights Service’s education manager Diana Bernard or Kerry Wright from Legal Aid NSW. Most of the sessions took place in Law Week, from May 14-20.

Ms Bernard says 336 people attended the sessions and feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 84 per cent of attendees saying they felt more confident about planning and knowing where to go for assistance and 91 per cent saying the panel helped clarify the legal issues that older Australians face.

Ms Bernard says the screenings will continue across the state for the next year.
The video was developed in Queensland and Ms Bernard says consideration is being given to creating a version specific to NSW.