According to World Health Organisation around 1 in 6 people 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year with most cases happening in institutions such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with 2 in 3 staff reporting that they have committed abuse in the past year.
Abuse of older people can have serious physical and mental health, financial, and social consequences, including, for instance, physical injuries, premature mortality, depression, cognitive decline, financial devastation and placement in nursing homes. For older people, the consequences of abuse can be especially serious and recovery may take longer.
The best way to protect yourself or a loved one and stop abuse from happening is to tell someone about it. This may feel difficult, especially if the person abusing you is a close friend or relative, but abuse and neglect are never acceptable. You don’t have to put up with it, and there is help available for you.
If you’re unsure who to contact you can:
- If you need advise regarding any concerns you may have, please call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 678 1602
- If you are an adult experiencing abuse or neglect, or if you are worried about an adult, you think may be at risk, please contact the Adult Social Care Team on 020 7332 1224
- If you believe your concern is an emergency, or if someone is in immediate danger, please contact the Emergency Services by calling 999.
What will happen when I report abuse?
When you report abuse to Adult Social Care at your local council, they will listen to the information you give them and assess what action is required. They will ensure that you feel in control of what happens.
You can ask for someone that you trust to support you, or you can ask for an advocate. If you (or the person you are concerned about) has difficulties, or does not have the mental capacity to engage with the process, the local council will arrange for an advocate to provide support.
If you’re at risk of further abuse, the Adult Social Services team will work with you to plan how you stay safe. You must be fully involved at every stage of this process.