Older people who are frail and dependent on others for care are at risk of being abused.

The most common types of abuse are:-

Physical – you can often spot this by unexplained injuries such as bruises, welts, scars, broken bones, sprains, or dislocations, broken glasses or frames, signs of restraint on the wrists or if their carer refuses to allow you to see them alone.

Emotional – this may appear alongside the physical signs, but when not accompanied by physical abuse they can be hard to spot as the signs can mimic dementia. You may also witness threatening, belittling or controlling behaviour from their carer.

Sexual – you may not notice this unless you are in intimate contact with the person, but some common signs are ripped, torn, stained or bloody underwear, bruised genitals and/or breasts, unexplained venereal diseases and bleeding from the anus or vagina.

Financial exploitation – if you notice significant withdrawals from bank accounts, items or cash missing from the house or changes in financial arrangements such as wills or powers of attorney, then you should challenge this to ensure that no exploitation is taking place.

Neglect and Abandonment – commonly you’ll notice weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, untreated bedsores, soiled bedding and clothes and lack of personal hygiene.

If you are experiencing harm through abuse or neglect, or are worried about a friend, relative or client, there are ways to help. You can go to a social worker, GP or police officer in complete confidence. You can also call our local, confidential helpline on 0208 317 8273 for help and information as a first step.

The following agencies specialise in services to help the elderly


Action on Elder Abuse 

They work to protect, and prevent the abuse of, vulnerable older adults.

Website: http://elderabuse.org.uk/
Helpline: 080 8808 8141


Age UK

Age Concern and Help the Aged are now Age UK. Information and advice for the elderly about benefits, care, age discrimination, abuse and much more.

Website: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/

Helpline: 0800 169 6565