Monday 15th June is World Elder Abuse Day and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to people in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, will be marking the occasion by providing its staff with detailed information on safeguarding against abuse.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is about organisations working together to bring greater recognition of the mistreatment of older adults wherever they live throughout the world and to highlight the need for appropriate action.
The Trust hopes that the information it provides to staff, via its intranet, will raise awareness of issues relating to all types of abuse of vulnerable people, help staff to recognise it and give advice on what to do if they suspect someone is being abused. The Trust is also planning to create a similar section on its public website to provide information for service users, carers, members of the Trust and the general public.
The information outlines the Trust’s policies and procedures in relation to abuse and answers questions such as: what constitutes abuse? Who are vulnerable people? And how does vulnerability escalate?
Abuse of older people can be physical, psychological or sexual and includes neglect and financial exploitation. It can occur anywhere, even in the victim’s own home, and the abuser can be a stranger, a carer, a family member or someone else in a position of trust. It is important that people are aware of the abuse of older people and take action to prevent and report it.
The Trust’s assistant director for older people’s services Sue Barton said, "Our organisation is dedicated to safeguarding all vulnerable people from abuse and encourages staff, as well as service users, carers and the general public to be vigilant and report any suspicions they may have. Older people, especially those with mental health problems, are amongst the most vulnerable in society and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at all times."
She continued, "In addition to the updated information we are providing to our staff we have trained over a quarter of our workforce this year on safeguarding against abuse and distributed a range of information throughout the Trust. We are committed to raising awareness of the issue of abuse and want to make clear that safeguarding against it is everyone’s responsibility."
For more information on World Elder Abuse Day visit www.elderabuse.org.uk