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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15th 2012

 

 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15th 2012

 


The World Health Organisation, reports that “abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of elders are much more common than societies admit”. Abuse is the violation of any person’s human and civil rights by another person. This includes:

 

  • Physical abuse: including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions
  • Sexual abuse: including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult at risk has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting
  • Psychological abuse: including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks
  • Financial or material abuse: including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
  • Neglect and acts of omission: including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
  • Discriminatory abuse: including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.

 

Where does abuse occur?


Abuse can occur anywhere. However, research shows us that most elder abuse is ‘hidden’ in that it happens behind ‘closed doors’, when there is little chance of the acts being witnessed. Older victims are usually dependent on their abusers and because they fear losing the support offered by even abusive carers, there is a reluctance on behalf of the abused to report what has happened to them to the authorities, or any one else.

 

Research also shows that Ageism (age discrimination) and disempowerment are major causes of elder abuse. Thus, empowering older persons is the most effective tool in the response to elder abuse.

 

What can I do?


Never ignore elder abuse. Although it is largely hidden problem occasionally it will be exposed through witnessed events or disclosure from victims. If you should be a witness, then please report the matter as soon as possible to the police or Wirral Central Advice and Duty Team, contact details below.

 

Ultimately the challenge for us all is not only to listen to what has been said, but to believe and act upon it. By supporting elders in our community we will be able to enable them to act for themselves and on their own behalf, and to exercise their rights and speak up for their own interests. This will also increase older people’s awareness of the problem and nature of abuse, as well as raise their awareness of the services and resources available to them in realising their human rights to the full.

 

Wirral Borough Council is committed to safeguarding adults at risk and provide training to train people, including professionals involved in the care of older people, to recognise and act on abuse or suspicions of abuse.

 

You may want to support World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by wearing something purple on the 15th June, for further information please contact ;

 

Action on Elder Abuse on 020 8835 9280 or  at  www.elderabuse.org.uk

 

If you are affected by elder abuse or you are concerned that you may know someone who is being abused, they please contact:

 

Wirral Borough Council, Central Advice and Duty Team on;

 

0151 606 2006 (office hours) or the Emergency Duty team on 0151 677 6557

 

In an emergency contact the police using the 999 system.

 

Remember elder abuse is a global problem, but it requires us to act locally and do something about it.....if you don’t who will?

Last Updated: Thursday, 03 November 2016 11:46

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