Elder abuse affects about 500,000 people across the UK each year and the aim of this Awareness Day is to educate people on how to prevent abuse and how to get help if they are being abused or suspect someone is.
This year’s theme underscores the importance of preventing financial exploitation in the context of elder abuse to the enjoyment of older persons’ human rights. Financial abuse and exploitation is one of the most prevalent forms of elder abuse. Financial exclusion, low levels of financial capability and cognitive impairment means older people become dependent upon others to manage their finances or to have access to their income or savings. In the majority of cases, family, friends and professionals are trustworthy but some of the vulnerabilities of older people or the reliance on others for assistance mean they could easily be exploited.
Frontline Health and Social Care staff play a key role in recognising those at most risk of harm and in need of protection from financial abuse and exploitation. Here in Northern Ireland, Health and Social Care organisations are hosting events and distributing materials for staff, service users, carers, and members of the public on how to recognise financial abuse and where to get help. Details are published on staff intranets, local websites and social media.
Ongoing advice and support is also available from the Adult Safeguarding Charity Action on Elder Abuse (NI). AEA Northern Ireland is part of the UK-wide organisation, Action on Elder Abuse, who were the first charity to address elder abuse and the only charity in the UK and Ireland working exclusively on this issue today.
AEA’s role is to:
• raise awareness of the wide range of abuse experienced by older people, which includes physical, sexual, psychological, financial and neglect
• provide advice and support to older people experiencing harm or abuse, and those who care for or are concerned about older people
• promote research and projects relating to the abuse of older people
• campaign for the best possible support and prevention framework
Get involved: Contact Action on Elder Abuse NI directly at firstname.lastname@example.org