The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership have teamed up with the country’s largest charity for older people to raise awareness of the abuse of older and more vulnerable people.
Last year 3,100 cases of financial, emotional, institutional, discriminatory and physical abuse and neglect were reported in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, but experts believe the issue is still underreported, especially with regards to abuse against older people.
Now the partnership has teamed up with Age UK North Staffordshire on The Signs Were There campaign to help people recognise the signs of financial and emotional abuse, and neglect, and help them report it.
We know that awareness of financial abuse is particularly low amongst the public which is worrying because it’s of growing concern nationally. It’s often the hardest to spot, which is why it’s all the more important we raise awareness of the issue, and give people the information on where to report it.
Around 80% of the calls that we receive about possible abuse come from professionals. But we know friends, families and neighbours spend more time with vulnerable adults than professionals do. Sometimes they notice something which is not quite right but they don’t recognise it as possible abuse.
We want to increase awareness about the signs of neglect, emotional abuse and financial abuse. Without calls from friends, family, neighbours, the problems might go unreported and people will suffer. We want everyone in contact with older adults and those with disabilities to recognise the signs of abuse and to know how to report these.
The city council is working with all interested parties to make sure that vulnerable adults are safe wherever they live and whoever is caring for them.
So if you see it, please make that call to the safeguarding professionals. Even if you suspect abuse, that enough evidence to make that call.
We welcome this campaign in the county to highlight the risks and tackle the problems of financial and other abuse facing older people. Making information and support more widely available is vital, and we are pleased to play our part in making this important campaign a success. We urge anyone concerned about actual or possible abuse of an older person to ring the safeguarding number without delay.
“Teaming up with Age UK has been tremendous, it’s allowed us to get right into the heart of communities and spread the message. Sometimes financial abuse might show itself by the vulnerable person suddenly not being able to pay bills, personal possessions going missing, or people being unusually interested in what someone owns.
Anyone who is concerned about a vulnerable adult being abused should:
contact the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership on:
0845 604 2886 in Staffordshire (local call cost)
People with a hearing impairment can use the Minicom on 01785 2876207 or text on 07814 191 111
0800 561 0015 in Stoke-on-Trent
Or 999 in an emergency
Or any Age UK outlet