We hear a lot in the media of different stories of abuse as brave survivors come forward and tell of their experiences. Abuse whether it be physical, sexual, psychological, ritual or emotional can happen to anybody, at any time, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or class. Elder abuse though is a form of abuse that is now being recognised and we are hearing more about.
In 1995 the charity Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) established the following definition of 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" It can take many forms such as emotional, physical, psychological, financial, sexual abuse or neglect and can occur anywhere, in the elderly person's home, in hospital, nursing home or residential care. More often the abuser is in a position of trust or has contact with the victim in a caring role with the opportunity to abuse the trust in the relationship, exploit or harm them. As with any form of abuse against anyone, abuse is not okay and there is no excuse for it.
There is only one charity in the UK, the Action on Elder Abuse, whose main focus is to tackle elder abuse. They run a confidential helpline for victims as well as providing information and assistance for those abused or who may be at risk. If you are looking for help or advise or would like information on what to look out for and spotting the abuse please see the link or telephone number below.