It is still happening today. Every day. Abuse takes many forms. A young manJesse Moorestragically died. His death could have been prevented (Facebook group) if someone had just spoken out.
No Secretsis the current Government‘guidance’in England
Guidance does not carry the same status as legislation; instead local authorities have their compliance assessed as part of a statutory inspection process. With ‘good reason’ a local authority can ignore such guidance. As a consequence vulnerable adults do not have the same statutory protection as either children or animals.
Such crimes as mistreatment are regularly committed67%according toAction on Elder Abusein care settings and by carers There is a raft of legislation keeping people safe from harm (Human Rights Act 1998,Care Standards Act 2000and Regulations,Mental Capacity Act 2005). However, prosecutions are very low. Most councils have recognised that protection (safeguard) of vulnerable adults is paramount and have implemented multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse.
It is our duty to look out for the signs and to do what we can to prevent it. Staying silent is not an option.
Vulnerable adult definition A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or maybe unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
Everyonehas a right to: Live free from violence, fear and abuse Be protected from harm and exploitation Be independent – which may involve some risk
Say ‘No’ to anything they don’t fully understand
Forms of abuse
Institutional abuse Institutional abuse can occur in a care home, nursing home, acute hospital or in-patient setting and can be any of the following types of abuse: Neglect. Physical abuse. Sexual abuse. Verbal abuse. Discriminatory abuse. Psychological and emotional abuse. Financial abuse.
Neglect Neglect of a vulnerable adult can be any of the following: Not having the help you need to have a bath or shower if you are unable to do so by yourself. Not getting enough food or drink. Stopping you from accessing needed care and/or medical services. Not being given the medication that has been prescribed for you. Being given medication to make you sleepy when it has not been prescribed or giving you the medication at the wrong time or in the wrong quantities. Not getting help to stay warm and dry. Only having old or dirty clothes to wear. People not caring for you properly.
Professional abuse Professional abuse happens when a professional does any of the following: Takes advantage of their client or patients trust. Exploits their vulnerability. Does not act in their best interests. Fails to keep professional boundaries. Abuse may be: Sexual. Financial. Psychological/emotional. Physical/neglectful. Discriminatory. Professional abuse always involves: Betrayal of trust. Exploitation of vulnerability. Violation of professional boundaries.
Domestic Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
Discriminatory abuse Abuse of individual rights is a violation of human and civil rights by any other person or persons. Discriminatory abuse consists of abusive or derisive attitudes or behaviour based on a person’s sex, sexuality, ethnic origin, race, culture, age, disability or any other discriminatory abuse – this includes Hate Crime.
Elder abuse Can be any of the following: Physical abuse. Psychological abuse. Financial abuse. Sexual abuse. Neglect. Abuse can occur anywhere: In some one’s own home. A carer’s home. In a day care centre. In residential care. In a nursing home. In hospital. Both older men and women can be at risk of being abused. The abuser is often well known to the person being abused. The abuser may be: A family member. A friend or neighbour. A paid or volunteer care worker. A health or social worker, or other professional. Older people may also be abused by a person they care for.
Financial abuse Can be any of the following: Someone making you take your money out of the cash machine for them. Taking money from you. Borrowing money and never giving it back. Stealing your belongings. Someone getting you to sign something and you don’t know what it is. Someone taking your pension or other benefit. Someone asking for money for visiting you socially.
Physical abuse Can be any of the following: Being restrained in a chair or locked in a room. Punching or kicking you. Throwing things at you. Grabbing, pushing, poking or slapping you. Hitting you with an object. Pulling hair or biting. Tripping you up.
Psychological and emotional
Hurtful criticism. Name calling. Sulking. Pressure tactics. Lying to you, or to your friends and family about you. Persistently putting you down in front of other people. Stopping you from seeing people you want to see, including friends and family. Never listening or responding when you talk. Monitoring your phone calls, emails, texts and letters. Checking up on you, following you, not letting you go out alone. Frightening you into doing things you don’t want to do. Making you unnecessarily distrustful of other people. Upsetting you on a regular basis about things that don’t matter to the extent that you may even feel unwell. Psychological and emotional abuse is generally part of other forms of abuse such as: Domestic abuse
Sexual abuse Sexual abuse can be any of the following: Someone touching you where you don’t want to be touched. People getting too close to you. Someone making you feel uneasy and upset. Someone hurting you and making you feel scared. People not listening when you say no.
Additional factors Any of these forms of abuse could either be deliberate or the result of ignorance or lack of training, knowledge and understanding. If a person is being abused in one way they are often being abused in other ways too.
What to look out for: Unexplained injury Signs of fear or distress Withdrawal Neglect Theft, fraud or financial exploitation
What you should do: Doact if you suspect a vulnerable person is being abused Dotalk to the person – listen carefully Dogive the person your full attention Dotelephone someone
What you should not do: Don’t ignore it Don’t promise to keep it a secret Don’t put it off(there needs to be betterwhistleblower provisions)
Autistic children grow into Autistic adults all too fast.I hope with greater awareness of Autistic Adults because of campaigns like theNAS I Existand Safeguarding adult’s and betterquality controlsthings will continue to improve.
After all we could ALL end up in a care home one day.
Safeguarding Adults is every body’s business. Your action could prevent abuse.
Every day, people say nothing! Please say something. You could improve someones quality of life or maybe a tragic death could be prevented.