The abuse and neglect of older people is a growing concern at Independent Age. The charity’s advice line regularly receives calls from elderly people and their families who are worried about the issue. In response, it has published a new leaflet to help older people, their families and carers recognise the signs of abuse and understand where to go for help.

The leaflet, called ‘Staying in control when you’re older’, provides practical information on different types of abuse, how to spot it, who is at risk and where to go for help if you or someone you know is being abused.

There are many different types of abuse, with the most common being neglect and omission (32%), followed by physical abuse (27%), according to the Health & Social Care Information Centre’s (HSCIC) latest annual report on safeguarding adults, published in October 2015. According to the report, safeguarding referrals were made relating to 103,900 adults in England in 2014/15. The report also found that the most common place for alleged cases of abuse was in a person’s own home (43%), with the second most common place being in a care home (36%), and over a third (36%) involved a care worker. The majority of referrals (63%) involved older people aged 65 and over.[1]

Lucy Harmer, Director of Services at Independent Age, says, “We believe that no-one should suffer abuse, especially when they’re in an environment where they ought to feel safe. There needs to be a zero tolerance approach to all types of abuse. That’s why we’ve introduced the new free ‘Staying in control when you’re older’ leaflet for older people, their families and carers.”

The new free leaflet is suitable for older people themselves or those who work with them and can be ordered in bulk by healthcare and social care professionals. Download it from www.independentage.org or call 0800 319 6789 to order one or more copies. The free Independent Age advice line (0800 319 6789) can offer advice to those who think they are being abused or may be at risk of abuse.

[1] HSCIC (2015), Safeguarding Adults – Annual Report, England, 2014-15 Experimental Statistics, http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB18869/sar-1415-rep.pdf

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