Putting a stop to elder abuse
Age Cymru has unveiled ambitious plans which it claims could stamp out elder abuse in Wales.
The charity launched the proposals - called ‘Stopping elder abuse: affecting lasting change’, at a major conference in Cardiff.
Louise Hughes, Age Cymru’s Elder Abuse Programme Manager says:
“Elder abuse is an unacceptable and ugly truth affecting an estimated 39,000 older people in Wales.
“Older people are suffering in many ways – often at the hands of people they trust and in places where they should feel safe and secure.
“Age Cymru is committed to putting an end to elder abuse and this manifesto is the result of four years of us consulting experts across Wales about how to tackle this problem.
“It contains 14 key actions that if put in place, would improve the lives of older people in Wales by putting a stop to elder abuse.”
Among the recommendations made in Age Cymru’s elder abuse manifesto are:
- A national campaign to raise awareness about elder abuse, how to identify it, and to promote what can be done to prevent it from starting or continuing;
- Better access to specialist support services for older people, as they have a right to be treated equally by the Criminal Justice System;
- Older people who have been or who are being abused should have a statutory right to an independent advocate;
- Improved measures to stop fraudulent or scam letters from within the UK and abroad before they reach their intended victims;
- Consolidating existing duties and powers that protect older people from abuse into a single body of law that is more readily accessible and applicable to those working in adult protection;
Louise Hughes concludes:
“Elder abuse cannot be allowed to continue to blight the lives of tens of thousands of older people in modern Wales.
”Age Cymru’s manifesto provides a solution to this problem – all we need now is the will and support of our partners across Wales to turn these proposals into reality.”
The Age Cymru conference is being held on 20 July.
It will include a series of talks from guest speakers including Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Social Services, who will speak about the role of the Welsh Assembly in adult protection.
Gwenda Thomas says:
"The prevention of elder abuse is a matter that we should all take responsibility for and I welcome Age Cymru's elder abuse manifesto to help address this problem.
“The abuse of vulnerable people is not a new phenomenon but by working together we in Wales are finding that a better understanding of adult protection issues is rightly leading to a more open debate.
“Greater public awareness is leading to a much lower tolerance of adult abuse and this is a welcome development.
“I take this issue very seriously and have established both an Adult Protection Board and a Dignity in Care Group to give me expert advice on how policy and practice should be improved
"With safeguarding central to all our policies I will be publishing a White Paper on the future of Social Services in the New Year.
“This will be the Assembly Government's statement on how best to deliver an effective, safe and efficient social service for the next decade. And I look forward to presenting it to the people of Wales."
Other presentations at the event will include:
· Dignity and elder abuse;
· Human rights and the rights of older people to have equal access to justice;
· A coroner’s perspective on age;
· Detection and prevention of financial abuse of older people;
· Financial abuse and the law;
Elder Abuse Manifesto - Stopping elder abuse: affecting lasting change (English)
Elder Abuse Manifesto - Stopping elder abuse: affecting lasting change (Welsh)