Intended for healthcare professionals


Thousands of elderly people face abuse, says Commons report

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 22 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:971
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    Tighter controls need to be put in place to ensure the safety of elderly people, says a Commons report. It estimates that as many as 500 000 elderly people in England are currently being abused by relatives, carers, or strangers.

    Although the public is more aware than ever of child abuse and the measures that have been introduced to try to protect children, abuse of elderly people remains overlooked, says the House of Commons Health Committee.

    “Our inquiry found that much abuse of older people is not reported because many older people are unable, frightened or embarrassed to report its presence,” says the Committee's report.

    “Often carers take no action because they lack training in identifying abuse or are ignorant of the reporting procedure. The lack of reporting results in difficulties in determining the true scale of the problem and this is compounded by lack of research.”

    Abuse takes …

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