Elderly neglected every day

ELDERLY people in North Somerset are suffering instances of neglect, violence and theft every other day, according to new figures.

NHS North Somerset has revealed it received 266 reports of a person aged over 65 being subject to abuse in the financial year 2010/11.

Of those referrals, 155 were found to be at least partly substantiated.

The initial reports included 90 cases of physical abuse, 86 of neglect and 56 of stealing.

The figures, which have been described as ‘deeply concerning’, have been released to coincide with World Elder Abuse Day.

NHS North Somerset programme manager for older people, Claire-Louise Nicholls, said: “Safeguarding vulnerable adults and protecting them from abuse is everyone’s business.

“It is deeply concerning that in North Somerset alone over a 12-month period, 266 referrals were received concerning possible abuse.

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“We do not want to frighten or alarm vulnerable people. However it is important that they and their families realise that they can report suspected abuse to agencies who can step in and provide help and support.

“No vulnerable person need consider themselves alone.”

The health organisation says the abuser is often known by the victim and can be a carer, social worker or partner.

North Somerset Council’s safeguarding adults manager, Alan Mogg, said: “We know that most prevalent settings for abuse for a person over the age of 65 are a person’s own home or a care home.

“Everyone can help in our work to identify and prevent abuse of elderly people.“

The World Elder Abuse Day took place on June 15 and was marked in North Somerset with a number of awareness events.

Anyone who wants to report abuse should call the Elder Abuse Response 08088 088141.

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