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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.

Read: Over half of case referrals for vulnerable elderly adults

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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.

Read: New report shows 'disturbing' rise in elderly abuse

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

Read: New report shows 'disturbing' rise in elderly abuse

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.
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.

Widower explains extent of isolation facing elderly

An elderly widower was so isolated after his disabled wife died he would cry out of loneliness or take photos of visitors "to know that they have been".

Roy Hardacre (84) was speaking as an exclusive survey handed to Daybreak exposed the extent of the isolation facing Britain's over 75s.

I didn't know what to do about myself. I'd been looking after her for so long. I would cry sometimes because I'm so lonely.

Nobody comes to see me and if they do come I normally take photos of them to know that they have been.

– Widower Roy Hardacre

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Elderly 'isolated' by longer life and lack of community

Elderly
Elderly people feel increasing "isolated" a charity for the geriatric had found. Credit: PA

The elderly are feeling more "isolated and alone" because we are all living longer and a lack of community spirit, research has found.

A survey carried out by a charity dedicated to the elderly found one in five of the over 75s only leave the house once or twice per week because they are scared to do so.

One in 20 are so afraid to venture outdoors they only leave their home less than once a week, the Royal Voluntary Service said.

At least 5% of over 75s have no face-to-face conversations in a typical day.

Communities 'don't understand dementia sufferers plight'

Broadcaster and Alzheimer's Society ambassador Angela Rippon told ITV News that dementia sufferers are fearful of leaving their homes because some communities do not understand their condition.

When asked why some people are reluctant to leave their homes, Rippon said:

She added: "If you have a society where people don't understand the needs of people with dementia, don't understand how to recognise it, the support that someone with dementia needs, then obviously as an individual you are going to withdraw back inside yourself.

"You're not going to want to go out into the public and be humiliated in that way."

Read: Poll suggests 28% of dementia patients never leave home

'Vital' UK empowers people with dementia, says charity

The isolation dementia sufferers endure is "shocking" and "saddening" and can be avoided, the head of a leading health charity has said.

Alzheimer's Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes urged communities to challenge stigma to "give confidence" to people with dementia.

It's shocking and saddening that so many people with dementia feel trapped and cut off from everyday local life.

It's encouraging to see some communities have started on their journey of change but it needs to be a priority for everyone to act now. It's vital we empower people with dementia and their carers.

By committing to change, communities can give people with dementia the confidence to be part of local life and stay independent for longer.

It's vital that people sign up to the recognition process to kick-start this movement and help change attitudes and behaviour

– Alzheimer's Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes

Poll: 9% of dementia sufferers leave home once a month

Elderly
More has to be done to support dementia sufferers when they leave home, the Alzheimer's Society has said. Credit: PA

Just under one in 10 (9%) of dementia sufferers will venture out at least once a month, according to a new report by the Alzheimer's Society.

The report also warns many dementia sufferers are unable to take part in activities they enjoyed before they developed the condition.

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