The Southern Health and Social Care Trust and Local Adult Safeguarding Partnership (LASP) signed an International Declaration on June 15 to mark World Elder Abuse Day.
Research suggests that over 500,000 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day involves activities to bring greater recognition of mistreatment of older people wherever they live throughout the world, and to highlight the need for appropriate action. older people are abused in the UK each year.
The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse aims to increase society’s ability to recognize and respond to the mistreatment of older people in any setting, so that the latter years of life are free from abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Melanie McClements, Acting Director of Older People and Primary Care Services, Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: “Abuse against older people must not be tolerated, minimised or hidden. Abuse can take many forms and is often perpetrated by someone in a position of trust. If you have any concerns about someone you know it is important that you share these with our staff. Working together can keep people safer in our community.”
Abuse can be physical or sexual, emotional, verbal or financial. Neglect is also a form of abuse - for example by not providing the adult with food, shelter, medication, or care. Abuse of older adults most often occurs within the family, however abusers can also include friends, neighbours, paid care providers, landlords or any individual in a position of power, trust, or authority.
If you are the victim of abuse, or if you are worried about someone who you think may have experienced or is being abused, exploited or neglected, then it is really important to seek help. The Southern Local Adult Safeguarding Partnership would encourage anyone with concerns about an adult who may be at risk to inform your nearest social services office or PSNI station.
If you ever feel in immediate danger or think someone else may be in immediate danger, Dial 999. The Southern Trust Adult Protection Gateway team can be contacted at (028) 37564423 for advice, guidance and support.