Submitted by Hertfordshire County Council

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was celebrated on Tuesday, June 15, and the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board is focused on protecting older people across the county during the pandemic and beyond as National statistics show an alarming increase in elder abuse.

The national charity Hourglass has warned that elder abuse is at “unprecedented levels” as new data shows nearly 2.7 million UK citizens over 65 have been reportedly abused.

The Growing Old in the UK 2020 survey, commissioned by the charity, of more than 2,500 adults found that one in five (22%) had experienced abuse as a senior (65 and over ) or knew of an elderly person who had been abused, and 53% of people in the UK felt that elder abuse and neglect had increased due to the pandemic and associated restrictions. Previous estimates put the figure considerably lower, with the World Health Organization estimating that 1 in 6 people aged 60 and over worldwide have experienced some form of abuse in the past year.

Good news from Hertfordshire:

Older people can be abused in many ways, men and women can be at risk of being abused, and it can happen anywhere. Seniors can be targeted because of a number of factors. Sometimes isolation, the need for care and being more confident can lead to abuse or neglect, often on the part of those close to the older person.

Abuse can happen in many ways, the most common types of abuse that older people can experience, including physical, psychological, financial and negligence. Abuse or neglect can occur in the home of a person or their caregiver, in a day center, a residential or care home, a hospital or in a public place.

Some cases of abuse are aimed at financially exploiting the older person, such as scams and fraud.

For many older victims, violence can become normalized and accepted, which can create barriers to getting help and support.

The Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) is a statutory sector partnership that plays a key role in supporting and challenging all organizations tasked with protecting adults in Hertfordshire. The Council brings together organizations and communities to create a safer Hertfordshire, where all adults at risk can live, work and be cared for without abuse, violence or assault.

Elizabeth Hanlon, Independent Chairman of the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB), said: “Often those who abuse older people exploit a relationship.

“It could be someone the victim trusts, it could be because of a family relationship, a friendship, a paid or unpaid caregiver, or someone in a position of trust.

However, abuse is not always intentional. It may be that someone does not have the skills or the support to care for another person properly and safely. That is why he is so important that people report abuse, so that we can provide help and support to everyone involved. “

Social isolation and loneliness increased during the pandemic, potentially contributing to unreported abuse and neglect. Social isolation has been shown to increase the likelihood of abuse. Many older people spend long periods of time at home alone under normal circumstances, but those who are more vulnerable to the coronavirus are again taking precautions and may avoid going out.

It is more important than ever that everyone be aware of the role they can play in helping to prevent abuse. We all need to know how to spot the signs of abuse and neglect, and what action to take.

Backing up is everyone’s business if you see something, say something. Don’t let abuse and neglect continue, report it with confidence as every issue is investigated.

You can report a problem online at: or call: Adult Care Services on 0300 123 40 42.

In an emergency, always call 999.

For help and advice for seniors, visit: or call 0300 345 3446.

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