What is elder abuse ?

7th Oct 2019

As a committee member of Your Voice in Breckland – “empowering local older people” I spoke at their latest event “What is Elder Abuse”.

The World Health Organisation defines Elder Abuse as “A single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person”.

I was delighted to join three other speakers who discussed how abuse can take place against elderly people.

There was an interesting talk from Friends Against Scams representative Helen Barwick, who highlighted how scammers can get your information and how they target certain groups of people. Helpful tips were given which could assist in knowing whether something is a scam. The main message was that if something comes out of the blue or seems too good to be true then it probably is and you should investigate before proceeding any further.

There was also a helpful talk from Breckland Council on the steps that they are taking to ensure that elder abuse is highlighted how they and assist or refer when they can. They also explained initiatives they have in place to help try to prevent elderly people from becoming victims of abuse.

The third talk was by the founder of the Daisy Programme regarding domestic abuse and how this can impact on elderly people. This can be impacted by rural isolation and discussion was had to how a carer relationship could lead to abuse of both the vulnerable party but also the carer.

I was the final speaker and discussed how financial abuse can take place both informally in a setting between family members, but also through the abuse of legal documents such as Powers of Attorney.

I highlighted the importance of taking independent advice and putting these documents in place when you have full mental capacity and have been able to carefully consider how you should appoint without the pressure from anyone around you. The importance of using a company such as Rogers & Norton, is that we have a team of specialists that can assist in Mental Capacity issues but who will be able to see you individually to ensure that if you have any concerns these are discussed. All clients are seen at least twice in a Will or Power of Attorney transaction and our specialists will be trained to pick up upon any concerns that our clients may have and ensure they have the right people acting for them.

I also discussed that if someone has lost Mental Capacity and needs some assistance, then we are able to help family members make deputyship applications and explain to them that this would involved financial checks being done upon them and security bonds put in place. Accounts would also need to be submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian on an annual basis.

I finished my talk with discussing that in certain situations professionals may be the best people to be appointed to assist a vulnerable person either because they have been the subject of abuse, are at risk of abuse or have no loved ones capable of assisting.

If you would like further information on Powers of Attorney or Deputyships please click here.

If you would like to contact me to discuss any of these matters further please contact me on lr@rogers-norton.co.uk or 01603 675645.

If you would like to receive information from Your Voice in Breckland or come to any of their events in the future please find further information here.