Abuse of the elderly soars

Worcester News: SHOCKING: Abuse of vulnerable elderly and disabled people in Worcestershire has increased. SHOCKING: Abuse of vulnerable elderly and disabled people in Worcestershire has increased.

ABUSE of vulnerable elderly and disabled people in Worcestershire has increased dramatically in the space of a year, according to a shocking new health report.

Figures show that there were 442 referrals of vulnerable adults to social care services in Worcestershire in 2009/09, a 72 per cent increase on the previous year when there were only 257 referrals which in turn increased from 97 referrals the year before that.

People can be referred to the service who have suffered domestic violence in the home, physical abuse in a nursing home or who have suffered other forms of emotional, psychological or sexual abuse whether at home, in care or in the workplace.

Referrals can be made by a family member, friend, health workers, carers, police or even the individuals themselves.

The findings of the Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board annual report issue were discussed at a meeting of the NHS Worcestershire.

The increase has been attributed partly to higher levels of reporting and better data collection.

According to the figures a quarter of the abuse (26 per cent) was physical, 25 per cent financial, 18 per cent neglect, 17 per cent emotional and psychological, eight per cent sexual and five per cent institutional.

The vast majority of cases of abuse related to people over the age of 65 - there were 36 referrals to the older people’s team in Worcester, 60 in Wychavon, 60 in Redditch and Bromsgrove, 27 in Wyre Forest, 24 in Malvern.

Sandra Rote, director of clinical development and executive nurse lead with NHS Worcestershire, said the rise should be seen positively as it showed that more people were reporting abuse so something could be done about it.

Mrs Rote added: “Although it is a really shocking thing to find in our care homes it is positive in that at least people are reporting it. We have a whole team of nurses that go into care homes on a regular basis to assess people’s eligibility for nursing care. Increasingly there time is being spent on adult safeguarding issues. We do need to keep working at it so it has the same sort of status as children’s services.”

David Clark, of Worcester’s Age Concern, said the organisation would help anyone who contacted them.

He said: “Some of the abuse that is now being recorded was never previously regarded as abuse but more like bullying.

“Very often they don’t want to report it, especially if it’s in the family.

“All we can do is make people aware of it, especially the elderly, and give them the avenue to report it and complain about it.”

A police spokesman said there were no specific figures available for crimes against elderly people because until recently they were not recorded separately.

From now on officers have now started to record the crimes in their own category.

Comments (2)

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8:16am Mon 23 Nov 09

jb says...

So these crimes are now being recorded septerately, people are given more avenues available to report abuse but what is being done to stop it? There is nothing in the article, no statements from anyone giving details of action plans put in place to further monitor or punish the people who commit these crimes. Adult social care in Worcestershire is, from my personal experience, diabolical. All I ever get is how over burdened social workers are, what heavy case loads they have. Each 'case' refers to a person who needs help, are they just to be confined to a list of statistics or given help? Are the care homes going to be punished for not monitoring their staff? It's like the highways department isn't it, as long as there have been enough injuries or deaths on the road then they will put measures into place to try and stop it, it must be the same now that all these figures have been collated and the facts are before them, action has to be taken and I would be interested to see how they plan to do it.
So these crimes are now being recorded septerately, people are given more avenues available to report abuse but what is being done to stop it? There is nothing in the article, no statements from anyone giving details of action plans put in place to further monitor or punish the people who commit these crimes. Adult social care in Worcestershire is, from my personal experience, diabolical. All I ever get is how over burdened social workers are, what heavy case loads they have. Each 'case' refers to a person who needs help, are they just to be confined to a list of statistics or given help? Are the care homes going to be punished for not monitoring their staff? It's like the highways department isn't it, as long as there have been enough injuries or deaths on the road then they will put measures into place to try and stop it, it must be the same now that all these figures have been collated and the facts are before them, action has to be taken and I would be interested to see how they plan to do it. jb
  • Score: 0

9:21am Mon 23 Nov 09

molecat says...

"ABUSE of vulnerable elderly and disabled people in Worcestershire has increased dramatically in the space of a year, according to a shocking new health report. "

No it hasn't James! Read the rest of your own article, containing such statements as "The increase has been attributed partly to higher levels of reporting and better data collection." and "Some of the abuse that is now being recorded was never previously regarded as abuse but more like bullying."
This is just a case of choosing which statistics to mention in order to generate a good headline. If the same methods of collecting data is used year on year you can comment accurately on any fluctuations in the resulting statistics. If data collection methods change then there are NO statistics to quote, so please don't con your readers into thinking your story has merit.
All cases of abuse should be dealt with correctly and appropriately. But claiming that abuse has risen by 72% in a year actually undermines Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board annual report, which I'm sure is actually based on facts and has some serious points to make on how vulnerable members of society are cared for.
"ABUSE of vulnerable elderly and disabled people in Worcestershire has increased dramatically in the space of a year, according to a shocking new health report. " No it hasn't James! Read the rest of your own article, containing such statements as "The increase has been attributed partly to higher levels of reporting and better data collection." and "Some of the abuse that is now being recorded was never previously regarded as abuse but more like bullying." This is just a case of choosing which statistics to mention in order to generate a good headline. If the same methods of collecting data is used year on year you can comment accurately on any fluctuations in the resulting statistics. If data collection methods change then there are NO statistics to quote, so please don't con your readers into thinking your story has merit. All cases of abuse should be dealt with correctly and appropriately. But claiming that abuse has risen by 72% in a year actually undermines Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board annual report, which I'm sure is actually based on facts and has some serious points to make on how vulnerable members of society are cared for. molecat
  • Score: 0
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