17 June 2008>
Caerphilly county borough council has joined a worldwide campaign to promote awareness of elder abuse.
The council's newly formed Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) team marked World Elder Abuse Awareness day recently (Friday 13 June, 2008) with an event held in Asda, Blackwood.
Members of the POVA team and social services care managers were on hand throughout the day to provide support and advice to those who had concerns. There were also representatives from the Safer Caerphilly Multi Agency Centre (MAC), who deal with domestic abuse. It is often forgotten that vulnerable adults, including the elderly, can be just as affected by domestic abuse as the younger generation.
The Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (GAVO) was also on hand to offer support and advice.
In Caerphilly county borough, figures have shown that almost half of the abuse encountered by older people happens in their own home or a relative's home. Almost a third of cases referred to the POVA team concern cases of neglect, with a further 29% relating to financial abuse. Physical abuse of people over the age of 65 accounts for just over a fifth of referrals.
The POVA team has been established to help reduce elder abuse and to encourage people to report any suspicions or incidents. Statistics suggest that up to 500,000 older people experience some form of abuse each year in the UK alone, with many more cases going unreported (taken from the Action on Elder Abuse Prevalence report).
Andrea Giordano, Service Manager for Protection of Vulnerable Adults said: "The new POVA team are working closely with various organisations to raise awareness of elder abuse. We want to ensure that any report of abuse is fully investigated as well as ensuring that there are safety measures in place to protect vulnerable adults."
Cabinet Member for Social Services, Judith Pritchard said: "It's a sad fact that abuse against older people does occur and worryingly, in Caerphilly, we suspect that it is largely unreported. No matter how small your suspicion may be, it's important that you report it. Any form of abuse is an violation of our basic human rights, it's only right that something is done to stop it."
If you have a suspicion that an older person may be suffering from a form of abuse, please contact the council's Adult Services division on 0808 1002500.
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