A shocking one in six older adults experience some form of abuse in the community. Financial abuse alone has cost older adults billions through exploitation. Heart-breakingly, the level of elder abuse is increasing due to covid-19 restrictions. It’s now more important than ever to understand elder abuse and look at what we can do as a community to put a stop to it.
Covid-19 Pandemic and Elder Abuse
New research has recently come to light highlighting the massive increase in reports of elder abuse during the covid-19 pandemic. These reports have included a sharp increase in financial scams, violence, and neglect.
In some countries, reports have shown a 37% increase in elder abuse since lockdown and social distancing measures were put in place. Although these measures have been lifesaving for many, they have also aggravated isolation and abuse in the home, leaving many older adults extremely vulnerable.
How You Can Help
As many older adults suffer in silence through this extremely difficult time, it’s important to do all we can to help those suffering abuse and get them the help they need.
Here are three ways you can help:
- Recognize the Signs of Elder Abuse
Many of us simply aren’t familiar with the signs of elder abuse. By becoming familiar with the signs, we can more easily spot it in our neighbors, friends, and relatives:
- Unexplained injuries such as bruises, welts, scars, or even broken bones
- Failure to take medication regularly (you may notice a surplus supply of medications in their home)
- Broken glasses or hearing aids
- Marks on the wrists which could be a sign of restraint
- A carer who refuses to allow you to be alone with the person
- Increased anxiety or fear during visits
- Contact them more regularly
If you visited an elderly neighbor or relative before lockdown, make an effort to contact them regularly now. This can be done by video chat or phone if they are shielding. But visiting their home and talking to them through a window is a good way to spot any signs of distress.
- Raise Awareness
Share information about the increase in elder abuse due to covid-19 on your social media. Talk about it with your friends and family and do all you can to raise awareness. The more people who can spot the signs, the more likely an older adult will get the help they need.
Do You Need the Advice of a Solicitor?
If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, it is vital you get emergency care immediately. If you also need a solicitor to get the justice you deserve, call a member of our team today. We will be able to help you through this traumatic time and ensure you get all the help you need.