Abuse of older people is more likely in residential care than in
other settings, according to charity Action on Elder Abuse.
Although two-thirds of the 7,000 calls to the charity’s helpline
related to abuse in the victim’s home, nearly a quarter of callers
complained of abuses in residential care, where less than 5 per
cent of older people live.
In a third of cases, callers said several abusers were in
collusion, and this was most likely to happen in institutional care
Government legislation intended to protect whistleblowers has not
been effective, the charity says. Paid carers made nearly one-fifth
of helpline calls, but relatives and the victims themselves were
still much more likely to sound the alarm.
In 46 per cent of cases, the alleged abuser was related to their
victim, commonly a son, daughter or partner. Paid workers were
blamed in one-third of calls. The main forms of abuse were
psychological, financial and physical.
The charity has called for professional bodies to make failure to
report abuse a breach of the employee code of conduct. It has also
urged the government to set up a taskforce to study elder abuse and
to launch an advertising campaign to highlight the problem.