Commenting on HSCIC stats on safeguarding adult referrals, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said:

“Our concern is that the hundred thousand safeguarding referrals reported today – mainly concerning the abuse or neglect of older people - could be the tip of the iceberg.

“Most of these allegations relate to incidents that take place in an individual’s own home and involve someone personally known to them. And we know that older people are a lot less likely to make formal complaints, despite being at greater risk.

“Unfortunately, acts of abuse and neglect are often by their nature hidden. So we can’t just rely on vulnerable older people to come forward on their own. Councils need to be pro-active in uncovering abuse.

“And there needs to be a thorough examination of the scale of abuse and neglect of older people, including a survey of the care workforce, rather than just relying on older people themselves coming forward.”

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