New figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre reveal a steep increase in the number of reports of suspected abuse of old people and in the last year there has been a 28.4% increase in alerts about abuse made to councils in England.
- 60% of these concerned old people aged 65+
- Of these over 26% related to even older people aged 85+
Over a quarter of referrals relating to old men and women aged 65+ related to suspicions of physical abuse and over a third to cases of neglect and in addition to these, just over 18% of cases were of financial abuse, a form of abuse which is often overlooked. Worryingly in over a third of completed referrals relating to people aged 65+ no further action was taken against the alleged perpetrator.
Charity Director, Caroline Abrahams said:
"These numbers are disturbing: even though growing awareness of the abuse of older people is likely to have contributed to the increase in the number of safeguarding concerns reported to and taken forward by English councils, they concern some of the most vulnerable people in our society, many of whom feel that they have no-one to turn to for help. Any abuse of older people is unacceptable and we need a zero-tolerance approach to any abuse. Our biggest fear is that there are still many cases that are not reported and we would encourage anyone who suspects that an older person is being abused to contact their social services department or the police straight away."
Britain in 2013 : a fearful place for a growing minority of abused old men.