Everyone has the right to feel safe, free from abuse and neglect, but unfortunately some people over 65 experience some form of abuse or neglect. This can happen because they have care needs, are isolated or more trusting of others.
Abuse can happen in many ways, the more common types of abuse older people can suffer include physical, psychological, financial, and neglect. Often these are also crimes.
In many cases the person carrying out the abuse is exploiting a relationship they have with their victim, for example a relative, friend or a carer (paid or unpaid).
On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) – 15th June – and beyond Elizabeth Hanlon, Independent Chair of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB), is remining us that safeguarding is everyone’s business, if you see something, say something!
She said: “At a time of crisis, those who seek to exploit older people are quick to act. For instance, we have been warned of new scams claiming to be offering help and advice to people affected by coronavirus. Older people can often be an easy target and with many self-isolating under the pandemic guidance, safeguarding awareness and reporting is more important than ever.”
Elizabeth added: “Abuse is not always intentional. It can be because someone lacks the skills or support to properly and safely care for another person. Reporting abuse can trigger help with that.”
You can report a safeguarding concern at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/adults or call 0300 123 4042. For concerns about a child call 0300 123 4043. In an emergency always call 999.