Older people fall victim to elder abuse

Published: 07 Jun 2019

According to national statistics one in every 43 adults aged 85 and above was subject of a safeguarding enquiry last year. Last year investigating teams in Hertfordshire received over 5,300 safeguarding adult alerts for the over 65’s, however only a fraction of these (8%) were made by friends, family members and neighbours. So, this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15 June), Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) is calling on everyone to be vigilant and to report abuse where they suspect it.

Anyone can become a victim of abuse, and abuse can take a number of forms. The most common types are physical, psychological, financial, sexual, as well as neglect. This abuse can happen in the victim’s home, in a carer’s home, or another setting like a hospital, care home or day centre where they may be receiving care or support.

Often, the people who abuse older people are exploiting a relationship; they may be someone the victim trusts, because of a family relationship, a friendship, or their role as a paid or unpaid carer. Sometimes this abuse is not intentional. It can be because someone lacks the skills or support too properly and safely care for another person.

Liz Hanlon, Chair of HSAB, said:

“This is a timely opportunity to raise awareness of this very important issue. We really want to increase understanding so that people can recognise abuse or neglect and know how to report it.

“Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, so if you do see something say something.”

People should report cases of abuse or neglect by calling 0300 1234042 (24 hours a day) or 999 (if there is a danger to life, risk of injury or a crime is taking place). More information about the work of HSAB is available on our website www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/stopabuse.

You can find out more about WEAAD at www.elderabuse.org.uk or by searching for #WEAAD on social media.

For more information on adult safeguarding or to report a concern go to www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/hsab or contact the Action Elder Abuse Helpline on 0808 808 8141.