Presentation on theme: "Rosanna Thurlow Policy Development Officer Action on Elder Abuse"— Presentation transcript:
1 Rosanna Thurlow Policy Development Officer Action on Elder Abuse
2 Who are Action on Elder Abuse? Formed in 1993, Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) works to protect, and prevent the abuse of vulnerable older adults. We were the first charity to address these problems and are the only charity in the UK and in Ireland working exclusively on the issue today
3 What do AEA do? The Helpline: Established in Provides advice and guidance to older people and othersLobby governmentSpeak at conferencesProvide trainingRaise awareness wherever possible
4 Abuse and DefinitionsA violation of an individuals human or civil rights by any other person or persons - No SecretsA single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring in any relationship where there is an expectation of trust that causes harm or distress to an older person - AEA‘any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults, aged 18 and over, who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender and sexuality.’ (Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family.) (ACPO definition)
5 The CategoriesPhysical Abuse – Hitting, Kicking, Slapping, Punching, Spitting, Restraint – chemical and physical?Psychological Abuse – Using against a person what they love or value. – JSP!Financial Abuse – Remains too easy to gain control of an older persons finances. Many abusers never deny spending or having access to moneySexual Abuse – Forcing a person to participate in sexual acts and conversations against their will. Must ignore prejudices and assumptions about people with dementia, mental health issues and/or a learning disabilityNeglect – Failure to provide people with what they need to live. Neglect is not a separate thing to abuse and crime!
6 The Prevalence Study UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People – 2007In 2004 the House of Commons Health Select Committee concluded an Inquiry into elder abuse. Following representations by AEA, a major recommendation was that there should be comprehensive research into the prevalence of elder abuse in the UKThe Prevalence Study was undertaken by the Institute of Gerontology at Kings College London, and the National Centre for Social Research.
7 Leicester population: 330,574 UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older PeopleThe overall prevalence of abuse, defined by ‘expectation of trust’ in the year preceding the survey was4%This equates to 342,000 people aged 66 and over, or 1 in every 25 of the population aged 66 and overKEY MESSAGES:Prevalence figure is 4%, or 342,000 older people – more than the population of some of our cities.2.6% of older people face abuse by those who society would consider to occupy a position of trust i.e. family or paid staffLeicester population: 330,574Excluded Care homes, NHS institutions and people with dementia!(2.6% of older people were abused by someone in a ‘position of trust’)
8 Percentage of all respondents who experienced abuse UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older PeopleAbuse by GenderPercentage of all respondents who experienced abuse65.4Women54PercentagesKEY MESSAGES:In keeping with what we know from our Helpline, in general more women than men experience abuseBut there is some variation across the Nations32.1Men21
9 UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People - 2007 Percentage of all respondents who had experienced abuse in the last yearThe Abusers4035Partner33Other family33Neighbours andAcquaintances353025Percentage20KEY MESSAGES:Victims could experience abuse from more than one person at a time.But primarily we are looking at partners, other family members, and neighbours/acquaintances: mention the potential for grooming.9% of all abusers are home helps.159Home Help103Friend5
10 UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People - 2007 Abuse and Health14Percentage of respondents who had self-reported their health, and had experienced abuse12.5Women129.2All abuseBad Health10Percentage85.1NeglectKEY MESSAGES:And there is an obvious link between stated bad health and abuse.You are ten times more likely to suffer abuse if you are a man in bad health than good; and seven times more likely if you are a woman.Good Health1.264.8Men41.920.40.5
11 UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People - 2007 Percentage of abuse that had occurred in the last yearTypes of Abuse1.40.7PsychologicalNeglect1.2Ten instances in order to be counted once in the Survey0.7Physical0.5SexualFinancial1One instance in order to be counted once in the Survey1.210.8PercentageKEY MESSAGES:Neglect and psychological abuse has been under-reported in the survey and is in reality much higher – use of a twenty year old American model that does not reflect society’s increased intolerance of abuseImportant to note that neglect can be wilful or unintentional, but the impact on the victim is the same.Example: one instance of psychological abuse can lead to the loss of a house or to sexual abuse.0.60.40.2
13 UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People - 2007 Abusers and TypePercentage of those who had been identified as abusers in the last year7062PartnerNeglectDomestic Violence6051Other family5045Percentage9Financial403531Other3530KEY MESSAGES:Domestic Violence is a reality for some older peopleFinancial abuse / Other abuse (Psycho/physical/sexual) is mostly perpetrated by partners or other family members and should be better described as domestic violence. (but prev study didn’t refer to it as such)Need to start calling it what it is to ensure older people receive appropriate interventions within domestic violence situations20202013Home Help11Neighbour orAcquaintance1043Friend1
14 Older People and Domestic Violence Older People = VictimsOlder People = PerpetratorsKey messages: need to stop patronising older people etc.Are and can be both vicims and pepetrators.65th birthday etc
15 Abuse and Crime Hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking Common assault s.39 Criminal Justice Act 1988; actual bodily harm s.47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861; grievous bodily harm/with intent s.20 and 18, OAPA 1861Misuse of medication to manage behaviourAssault; false imprisonment; applies stupefying/overpowering drugs/matter or thing with intent to commit indictable offence s.22 OAPA; poisoning with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy, s23/24 OAPA; unlawfully administering medication s.58 Medicines Act 1968; injuriously affecting the composition of medicinal products, s63 Medicines Act 1968; failure to comply with conditions/contravention of regulations s.24, 25 Care Standards Act 2000
16 Percentage of all respondents who experienced abuse UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older PeopleAbuse by AgePercentage of all respondents who experienced abuse65.585+54.275 -8443.5Percentages3KEY MESSAGES:Again, in keeping with what we know from the helpline, the potential for abuse increases with age.21
17 The Demographic ‘Time bomb’ 16% of UK population are aged 65 or overDementia affects 5% of people over 65 yrs old and 20% over 80The implications of this?More vulnerable older people=More potential for abuseThe older but no safer campaignWomen disclosing when receiving palliative careRisk assessments: stabbed to death victimCoping mechanisms not working anymore – not acceptable to just offer domiciliary care packages – need to establish comprehensive risk assessmentsProvisions for older victims of domestic violence unacceptable: from basics such as refuges not having stair lifts to cater for people with mobility problems etcPolice reluctance to put an older perpetrator of domestic violence in cell over night – this has to change
18 Safeguarding from abuse - the wider agenda EmpowermentPreventing isolationValuingRe-humanising
19 Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Social Services are coordinating agencyMulti agency partnershipPrevent abuse and protect people from abuse
20 But…Less than one in ten older people who experience neglect, psychological, physical or sexual abuse is having their case referred to local authority adult protection services
21 What to do if you are alerted? Who is suspected of causing the harm?What level of seriousness is it?Who do you report to?In what order?Do you seek to supplement the information you have?What support do you provide to victim?What support do you provide for alleged abuser – if any?
22 The Carer Stress Debate Assumption that an older person receiving care is ‘difficult’Therefore carer’s stress results in abusive behaviour which is understandableWe would not accept carer stress as an explanation in child abuse – why do we for older people?Note-Victoria Climbie v Margaret Panting – would carer stress have been acceptable to explain what happened to that child?
23 Adult Protection Legislation Legislative situation currently confusing and piecemeal Definition of a vulnerable adult varies, depending upon the legislation. Processes and systems to protect older people are based on guidance and lack the resources and drive to ensure comprehensive protection. Adult Protection Teams under-funded, under-resourced, and under-staffed. Increased referrals to some teams would result in crisis. Abusers escape through the huge gaps that existNeed parity with child protectionNeed for intervention ordersNeed to send out message to general public that vulnerable adults need protection worthy of legislationWould ensure that statutory agencies would have to participate in joint partnership working and wouldn’t prioritise other work that has performance indicators attachedWe have produced a document based on a survey of 150 practitioners. It outlines what we would like to see in such legislation, based on out work and the views of the practitioners who responded. We are asking for feedback from anyone with a stake in AP work on this.There are debates to be had – is it acceptable to over rule wishes of adult with capacity if we feel they are being abuse? Conversely, is it right to rely on the alleged perpetrators co operation so much?Shouldn’t we apply a positive action approach similarly to domestic violence?Are existing measures / guidelines / legislation acceptable?
24 Elder Abuse Response Line 9.00am – 5.00pmMonday - FridayAction on Elder Abuse: (0)