Anyone can become a victim of abuse and it can take various forms – by preventing the isolation of elderly people we can help prevent abuse.
That is why in the run up to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15), we want to highlight long-time residents of Elstree & Borehamwood who met to reminisce about their earlier lives last week (June 6) sharing photos and memorabilia.
The group, for the over 60s, meet every month at the museum and each event is themed by Elstree & Borehamwood museum manager Dave Armitage.
He said: “We want to encourage those over 60s to come and share their memories with us, become part of the local group and socialise. Events like this can help prevent loneliness and make people more aware of the positive things that can help combat the vulnerability of elderly people in our community."
We, alongside the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB), are calling on everyone to be vigilant and to report abuse where they may suspect it.
The most common types are physical, psychological, financial, sexual, as well as neglect. This abuse can happen in the victim’s home, in a carer’s home, or another setting like a hospital, care home or day centre where they may be receiving care or support.
Councillor Caroline Clapper, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Health, said: “This monthly reminiscence event is a fantastic way for elderly people in our community to come together and share their memories. I would encourage anyone over 60 who is living on their own or feeling isolated to attend.
“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an opportunity for us all to think carefully about the elderly people we meet or encounter - if abuse or neglect is suspected, it should be reported.”
Last year, investigating teams in Hertfordshire received more than 5300 safeguarding adult alerts for the over 65s but only a fraction of these (eight per cent) were made by friends, family members and neighbours. According to national statistics one in every 43 adults aged 85 and above was subject of a safeguarding enquiry last year.
People should report cases of abuse or neglect by calling 0300 1234042 (24 hours a day) or 999 (if there is a danger to life, risk of injury or a crime is taking place). More information about the work of HSAB is available on Hertfordshire County Council's website.