Elder abuse is “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.
Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) England works to protect older people from abuse and neglect. We support those experiencing, or at risk of, abuse, as well as raising awareness and advocating effective prevention
We’re part of the organisation, Action on Elder Abuse, which works across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and we were the first charity to address elder abuse and the only charity in the UK working on the issue exclusively today.
We were established back in 1993 to provide a tailored service to older people, their families/carers and practitioners. Our work is very much about taking an inclusive and partnership approach as much as possible and we have extensive experience of how abuse manifests and affects so many older people. Please click on the link below for more information:
Most falls don’t result in serious injury but they can affect your confidence so it’s good to be prepared.
What you can do
You can make some changes to your lifestyle that will help you stay steady on your feet.
If you’re physically active, you’re less likely to fall. Exercise can help to keep muscles strong and improve your balance. Try to do some regular exercise, such as swimming or dancing. It’s important to stay active and keep warm.
If you haven’t exercised for a while, talk to your GP first. They might be able to give you some strength and balance exercises to do at home or recommend a local exercise class, such as Extend classes .
Some research has shown that the Chinese martial art Tai Chi can improve your balance and reduce the risk of falls. Also, practising techniques for getting up from the floor could be a life-saver if you do fall. Ask your GP or physiotherapist for more information.
Make sure you eat a balanced diet to help keep your bones strong, which should include:
calcium-rich food, such as cheese and milk
oily fish, like sardines and tuna, which contain vitamin D.
Some medications may have side effects that can affect your balance and if you’re on a number of different medications you may be more at risk. Tell your GP if any of your medication is making you feel dizzy or unwell and ask your GP or pharmacist for a review of your medication every year.
Check your eyes and hearing
Make sure you have regular hearing and eye tests. You will qualify for free NHS eye tests at least once every two years if you are over 60 or receiving certain benefits and you may be eligible for a free eye test at home if you can’t get to an optician. Action on Hearing Loss has an online hearing test and your GP can also arrange a hearing test.
Look after your feet
Keep your toenails trimmed and visit a chiropodist if you have any foot problems. Talk to your GP to see if you qualify for free NHS foot care services or contact the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists to find a registered chiropodist in your area.
Many older people fall when rushing to the toilet. If incontinence is a problem for you, speak to your GP. You can also get information and advice from the Bladder and Bowel Community.
Make your home safer
Most falls happen in the home or garden but there are preventive measures you can take. Things to think about include:
lighting – keep your home well-lit and consider getting motion-activated lights
keep your home clutter free, especially the hall, landing or stairs
look out for trailing wires
repair frayed carpet edges and use non-slip mats under rugs and in the bathroom
mop up any spillages
get organised so you don’t need to climb, bend or stretch too much
wear well-fitted shoes and avoid open-backed slippers or loose-fitting trousers
never stand on chairs – use a stepladder or get someone to help you
watch out for pets underfoot.
It’s easy to get used to things and not notice the potential dangers but you may be able to get a home hazard assessment to check for any risks. Ask your GP or local council for information.
Don’t let fear of losing your independence stop you seeking help. There may be some simple aids or home adaptations that could help you avoid falls, such as grab rails in the bathroom or an extra banister.
Download our falls prevention checklist
Use our checklist to help you find any hazards in your home.
Out and about
You also need to take care when you go out:
give your eyes time to adjust to changing light conditions when you move from inside to outdoors
watch out for tripping hazards, such as cracked pavements or raised frames in shop doorways
use a rucksack for shopping.
What to do if you have a fall
If you’re not hurt
stay calm and take a few moments to collect yourself
make sure you aren’t hurt
look for something stable to hold on to and use that to help yourself up
sit for a while and rest.
If you are hurt or can’t get up
try to make yourself comfortable
keep warm – reach for a blanket or cover yourself with a coat or rug
try to keep moving
make some noise to attract attention
try to crawl to a telephone
if you have a personal alarm, use it! Don’t worry about bothering people.
If you – or someone you are caring for – have a fall and can’t get up, you can call 999.
Getting help after a fall
Having a fall could be a sign that something isn’t quite right with your health but often it’s something treatable. Talk to your GP and ask them to refer you to a falls service, for example a Falls Clinic, to find out why you fell and to get help, such as physiotherapy. Falls can have a serious impact on your health so don’t ignore them. There’s a lot of support available.
Get a mobile phone if you don’t already have one and consider installing a community alarm system. This is a pendant or wristband you wear, with a button to call for help if you fall.
You can also get telecare technology that sends an alert to a carer or call centre if you get up from a bed or chair and don’t return in a set time.
New draft guidance from the CPS warned the stress of caring for an ill partner in later life could also lead to increased domestic violence.
The situation was often exacerbated by mental and physical frailty and isolation brought on by old age.
Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: “We know from research conducted by others that there is very little evidence that partner violence decreases with age, and it is important we also recognise the factors that may contribute to and impact upon domestic abuse between older people.”
In a close relationship, it can be difficult to know whether you are being abused, especially if your partner says they love you, gives you a lot of attention, or pays for the groceries or rent. People who are abusive sometimes act loving and supportive as a way to keep you in the relationship. A partner’s loving behavior does not make their abusive behavior OK. Forced sex and cruel or threatening words are forms of abuse. Learn more about how to recognize abuse.
ITV News: Chronic loneliness afflicting elderly ‘a national shame’
The loneliness epidemic afflicting almost a million people is a “national shame”, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said today.
Speaking at the National Children and Adults Services conference in Harrogate, Mr Hunt said the problem of chronic loneliness was a problem we have “utterly failed to confront as a society.”
Forty-six percent of people aged 80 or over report feeling lonely some of the time or often. Some five million people say television is their main form of company – that’s 10% of the population.
Each and every lonely person has someone who could visit them and offer companionship. A forgotten million who live amongst us – ignored to our national shame.
ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies reports:
Loneliness can impact people’s physical health and mental health, exacerbating and accelerating the decline of diabetes, dementia, heart disease and even some cancers, doctors warn.
She reached out to charity Independent Age, who arranged for a companion to come visit her once a week. The charity supports people to stay happy, healthy and connected in their old age, and help those experiencing feelings of isolation access support.
Age UK a “seismic cultural shift” was needed to help curtail the growing social isolation of older people, and warned that recent government cuts were exacerbating the problem.
A seismic shift is needed in attitudes towards older people and ageing in this country.
At Age UK we are extremely concerned that cuts to local authority budgets are exacerbating the problem of loneliness because they are causing the closure of many support services for older people, like lunch clubs, which can be a lifeline for those on their own.
These cuts are also pushing to breaking point many families who are trying to care for their older relatives in the absence of adequate support. Caring is often a 24/7 role that can have a huge physical and emotional impact on the carer.
– Caroline Abrahams, Age UK.
Women’s Health: Domestic or intimate partner violence
Domestic violence is sometimes called intimate partner violence. It includes physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, as well as sexual coercion and stalking by a current or former intimate partner.1 An intimate partner is a person with whom you have or had a close personal or sexual relationship.
Signs of domestic violence or abuse
Intimate partner violence, or domestic violence, can be difficult to see if it starts little by little, if your partner says they love you, or if they support you financially. Domestic violence can include forced sex, physical abuse, and emotional abuse, such as cruel words or threats. It can happen between married people, to a couple who lives together or apart, or to a same-sex couple. Abuse is never OK.
Getting a restraining order
If you are in an abusive relationship, you can take steps to protect yourself, such as getting a restraining order. There are also laws to protect you. One option is leaving the relationship. Many people can support you in leaving safely, including police, social workers, shelter workers, and friends and family. You can also create a safety plan if you decide to leave in the future.
Leaving an abusive relationship
No one should feel unsafe. If you are in an unsafe, violent relationship, you might be thinking of leaving. You do not have to leave today or do it all at once. But a safety plan can help you know what to do when you are ready to leave. Having a plan in place can help you get out safely later if you do decide to leave.
Effects of domestic violence on children
Many children exposed to violence in the home are also victims of physical abuse. Children who witness domestic violence or are victims of abuse themselves are at serious risk for long-term physical and mental health problems. Children who witness violence between parents may also be at greater risk of being violent in their future relationships. If you are a parent who is experiencing abuse, it can be difficult to know how to protect your child.
Sexual assault and rape
Sexual assault is any kind of unwanted sexual activity, from touching to rape. If you have been sexually assaulted, it is not your fault, and you are not alone. You can get help.
What is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
The safeguarding duty under the Care Act 2014 applies to any adult who:
has needs for care and support (whether or not the Local Authority is meeting any of those needs) and;
is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
Who is at Risk?
Adult abuse can happen to anyone who is over 18. However adults may be at ‘greater risk’ of abuse and neglect:
If they have a physical, mental, sensory, learning or cognitive illness or disability
Linked to above; if they need assistance with everyday tasks
If they rely on others for some kind of social care or health support
If they are in receipt of care – purchased or funded through:
Local Authorities and/or Health Services
If they are informal carers, family and friends who provide care on an unpaid basis.
This list is not exhaustive.
In Liverpool and Sefton area, we offer 2 services.
People with a dual diagnosis (mental health and alcohol/drug use)
People with a brain injury
People with a sensory disability
People with dementia
People with a learning disability
What age groups is this for?:
Anyone 18 or over
What areas of the city is this for?:
People from anywhere in the city
How can I access this service?:
Who can refer me to this service?:
Self-referral, carers or other professionals. If referring on behalf of another person, please ensure that you have their permission to do so.
When is this service open?:
Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm
How much will it cost me?:
Advocacy Together Hub Knowsley
Halewood Leisure Centre
T: 0151 486 4045
E: [email protected]
Care Act Advocacy
Acting Project Manager: Melanie Murphy
Operations and Development Manager: Tracy Moss
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm
Advocacy Together Hub Knowsley brings together all advocacy services in Knowlsey and provides a single point of referral. Our phone line and email will be answered by a duty advocate who will be able to provide information and guidance about all advocacy services and who can access them. If you think you or someone you are supporting may need advocacy support, please contact our local team and we will be happy to help.
NHS Advocacy is now provided by Merseyside and Cheshire Independent Complaints Advocacy in the following local authority areas:-
This service replaces the previous Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) and will continue to be delivered by the Carers Federation Ltd, who has over eleven years experience of supporting people in Merseyside and Cheshire with NHS complaints.
How to find us
Our offices can be found at:
The Gateway Conference Centre,
71 London Road,
Liverpool, L3 8HY