World Elder Abuse Day
June 15 is World Elder Abuse Day. But do you know what elder abuse is? Or why there is a day dedicated to it? If not, then read on!
The World Health Organisation has adopted the following definition of Elder Abuse, first established by Action on Elder Abuse, a British Charity:
“A single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person”.
It covers abuse which is physical, psychological, financial or sexual, as well as neglect.
It occurs whenever another person takes an opportunity to abuse the relationship of trust and exploit or harm the older person.
It can be committed by family members, friends or other people trusted by the older person and by people who hold a position of trust.
It can occur anywhere, including the home of the older person, a carer’s home, a day centre, a nursing home or hospital.
Elder Abuse Day on June 15th is intended to increase awareness of the problem and encourage people to report any concerns.
Reducing the risk of Elder Abuse
Preventing isolation and dependency, and having more than one person keeping any eye on the older person will help reduce the risk of elder abuse.
What to do if you suspect Elder Abuse
Contact Adult Social Services Department for the area in which the person lives, which is run by their local council
If the abuse concerns a Power of Attorney or Deputy Order, contact the Office of the Public Guardian on 0115 934 2777 (Monday – Friday 9am - 5pm except Wednesday 10am – 5pm) or email: opg.safeguardingunit.gsi.gov.uk
It should be possible to speak to any of the above anonymously.
If you want legal advice, please feel free to speak to Hazel Jones, Solicitor, who is a member of Action on Elder Abuse and a Dementia Friend (trained by Alzheimer’s Society) and a Member of Solicitors for the Elderly and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
Hazel can be contacted on 01992 422128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of our staff are also trained Dementia Friends and all staff will treat your enquiry politely and with sensitivity.