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Age UK: Solution to bed blocking lies in social care

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, has said that the solution to so-called 'bed blocking' lies in better social care for the elderly:

It is crazy to waste expensive NHS resources in this way, when it would be much more cost effective and better for older people to fund social care properly instead.

Waiting in hospital a month or more for social care to be organised can also undermine an older person’s chances of recovery and be profoundly upsetting for them and their families too.

Investing in social care would unblock the log jam and help our hospitals to work more efficiently. A properly resourced care system would transform many older people's lives for the better and would make financial sense as well. And just think how many more people of all ages could get speedier treatment in hospital if the social care support was there for the patients who can't be discharged without it.

– Caroline Abrahams, age uk


DH: Allegations must be dealt with robustly

Reacting to new data published by Charity Age UK showing a rise in the number of reports of suspected abuse of vulnerable older people, a Department of Health (DH) spokesman said:

No-one should suffer abuse or neglect in a place they are meant to feel safe in, whether this is in their own home or in a care setting.

It is encouraging that people are coming forward and making allegations where they have concerns because it allows the police, councils and the regulators to investigate them swiftly and robustly, as they must.

But we also need to make sure everything possible is done to protect people from abuse wherever it might take place.

This is why we have introduced a new Chief Inspector for Social Care who will hold local areas to account for abuse. We are also currently considering new measures to make directors of care homes and hospitals that allow neglect and abuse to take place personally and criminally accountable for failures in care.

Over half of case referrals for vulnerable elderly adults

Three fifths of the 112,000 cases referred by English councils were for abuse against vulnerable adults - described in the report as people who are or may be in need of community care services because they are elderly or suffer mental illness, a disability or another ailment - aged 65 or over.

Physical abuse and neglect were the most common types of abuse reported, the HSCIC experimental figures show.

Care workers and family were the most likely alleged abusers, according to the report.


Elderly abusers 'likely to be care workers and family'

New findings suggest care workers and family are the most likely alleged abusers of elderly people.

Findings from Age UK have revealed a rise in the number of reports of suspected abuse of elderly people.

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, whether through neglect, financial manipulation or physical or mental cruelty.

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.

The Care Bill presents the ideal opportunity to ensure that vulnerable adults living in our community are given the best possible protection from neglect and abuse.

– Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK

New report shows 'disturbing' rise in elderly abuse

New data shows there has been a four per cent rise in the number of cases of alleged abuse against the elderly. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

There has been a "disturbing" rise in the number of reports of suspected abuse of vulnerable older people, a charity has warned.

Charity Age UK said that any sort of abuse against the elderly is "unacceptable"and called on ministers to ensure that vulnerable adults are given the "best possible protection" against it.

The charity made its comments after analysis of data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) showed that there was a four per cent rise in the number of cases of alleged abuse referred for investigation in the past year.

English councils referred 112,000 cases of alleged abuse against vulnerable adults for investigation in 2012/13, up from 108,000 during the previous year.

Awareness campaign for number of elderly falls

Today Age UK will launch its Falls Awareness Week as around 350,000 people over the age of of 60 are being treated in hospital as the result of a fall.

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre have revealed that between 2012 and 2013 more than 410,000 people of all ages were admitted to hospitals across England as a result of a fall.

The figure was almost a 15% reduction from the previous year, the HSCIC said, with almost three-quarters of females admitted over the age of 65, compared to around half of men.

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