Age Cymru and the Older People’s Commission for Wales held a joint conference on elder abuse in Cardiff yesterday (7 December).
The programme included presentations and workshops from experts on elder abuse and adult protection.
Delegates were able to meet colleagues across a range of sectors, share best practice, and explore how older people can be most effectively protected in the future.
Age Cymru’s Elder Abuse Programme Manager, Louise Hughes, who gave a presentation at the conference about the recently launched Rule Out Abuse campaign, said:
“Adult protection legislation must be reformed to make it clearer and stronger and address gaps that currently put older people at risk.
“There is no current legal obligation, for example, for public authorities to investigate allegations of elder abuse.”
“An estimated 39,000 older people in Wales suffer elder abuse in their own homes alone, more than anywhere else in the UK.
“This is simply not acceptable and action is desperately needed.”
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Ruth Marks, commented:
“The clear message from delegates today is that there are real opportunities for the Welsh Government to use its newly acquired law-making powers to give adult protection proper recognition.
“There is strong support for a legal framework to tackle elder abuse more effectively.
“Older people have the right to live in dignity and security, free from exploitation and abuse and we want this to be a practical reality in Wales.”
Over 140 people attended the conference, all sharing the common aim of ensuring that older people in Wales in vulnerable situations are supported and protected.
Delegates included older people, representatives from the voluntary, health and social care sectors, police services, academics, public bodies and regulators.