Today is National Care Home Open Day. Care homes throughout the UK are opening their doors to the general public, inviting them to take part in activities aimed at creating lasting links between care home residents and their local communities.
As the organisers of the event recognise, the care home sector has been subject to negative press following high profile cases of abuse and neglect within the industry.
The Care Quality Commission only last year promised a new approach to inspections, aiming to better safeguard older and more vulnerable members of society.
Recent figures released by the Commission paint a bleaker picture though – almost half of care homes in England fall below current expected standards and, since launching the new approach only eight months ago, the Care Quality Commission has closed over 30 care homes as they were not meeting the standards expected of them.
Over Half a Million Elderly People Are Suffering Abuse
UK charity Action on Elder Abuse estimates that currently 8.6% of older people in the UK are subject to elder abuse – that’s over 500,000 vulnerable old people who are suffering abuse.
Action on Elder Abuse have found that the majority of elder abuse victims live independently. Their research indicates that around 40% of safeguarding referrals concern older people who live independently with assistance from either family members or agency care workers.
These figures are extremely disturbing. I believe it’s crucial that, if an elderly person suffers abuse or neglect, both local authorities and private care providers are held to account and that lessons are learnt.
It’s also important that victims of elder abuse and their families access legal advice to help them move on with their lives.
Helen Gierc is a Serious Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK, specialising in abuse cases.
Slater and Gordon Abuse Lawyers have represented people who have suffered neglect and abuse whilst living in residential care homes, hospitals and whilst receiving care in their own homes from agency staff.
We understand that, in an aging population, instances of elder abuse are, unfortunately, becoming more prevalent within our society.
If you or a member of your family has been affected by these issues please contact us to arrange a free consultation with one of our expert abuse solicitors. Call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll get back to you.
All communication with us will be dealt with in strict confidence.