Older people are dying from abuse and neglect while the government
fails to invest in services to protect them, delegates were
Opening a debate on elder abuse, social worker Jacqueline Bell from
Mid Lothian said 7 to 10 per cent of older people fell victim to
abusive relatives or carers. Yet training for staff was inadequate,
and advocacy and support services for carers limited.
“We owe it to these vulnerable citizens to make improvements,” Bell
The conference backed a motion calling for a legal right to respite
services, staff access to training and greater powers for local
authorities to protect older people.
Paul Burstow, the party’s spokesperson on older people, said too
many were “living with and dying from” elder abuse, which was going
unseen and unheard.
Calling for more investment in inspection services, Burstow said:
“In 1983, an inspector had responsibility for eight care homes. By
2002 this had risen to 27. No wonder we are still discussing elder
Delegates also called for greater protection for care staff who
reported abusive practices.