Elder Abuse Compensation Claims
In 2021, it was reported that 1 in 6 people aged 60 years and older had experienced some form of abuse in a community setting. This is not acceptable and needs to be stopped.
There is no excuse for elder abuse. Your loved ones deserve to feel safe and cared for, whether they are living at home or in a care facility.
If you are concerned about a loved one, the Criminal Injuries Helpline is here to guide you through the process. We’ll deal with your case sensitively and guide you through the elder abuse compensation claims process.
What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse is when a person or organisation trusted by an older person causes them harm, either deliberately or through neglect. It is common in facilities such as nursing homes, where trusted carers may abuse their power or cause harm to service users.
Elder abuse can also happen in the home, for example, if a family member taking care of a vulnerable person intentionally harms them.
What are the impacts and effects of elder abuse?
Elder abuse has far-reaching impacts, from short and long-term physical harm to mental anguish. Older people may have injuries such as cuts, bruises or broken bones, while they may also suffer trauma from emotional abuse.
This may also lead to long-term trust issues. They may no longer trust caregivers in general, even if they move to a new facility, or they may fear their belongings will be taken. This can also have impacts on their family.
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What are the 7 types of elder abuse?
We can categorise elder abuse into seven types. Some may be more common in care home settings, whereas others are more likely at home:
Any kind of physical violence towards an older person, such as shoving, punching or manhandling.
When a person’s carer deliberately fails to do something that may protect a person’s health. They may fail to feed, wash, clothe or provide the right medication.
When a caregiver intentionally deserts an older person. For example, they may leave them at a hospital or nursing home with no arrangements for care in place.
Emotional or psychological abuse
Anything that may affect an older person mentally. Examples include name-calling, put-downs, humiliation, threats and forced isolation.
When somebody forces an older person into a sexual act without their consent. It may happen to somebody with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or a disability that stops them from consenting.
More common with family members, this is when somebody spends an older person’s money without asking, from stealing to unlawfully accessing bank accounts.
while not inflicted by others, this is still dangerous for elderly people. They may struggle to accept that they are losing their independence, resulting in not taking of themselves. They may forget to eat, wash, dress, manage their money, or take medication.
How does elder abuse affect the family?
Elder abuse can have untold effects on an older person’s loved ones. They may feel guilty or responsible for the abuse, particularly if they live far away. They are likely to feel angry that their loved one has been treated like this.
It can also put additional pressure on them to change their loved one’s care. They may not have the funds to find another facility, for example, or they may not know where to turn for legal help.
At Criminal Injuries Helpline, we are here to protect families and their loved ones. We will help you seek the legal compensation your loved one deserves on a no win, no fee basis – helping to keep you all safe.
What sort of people commit abuse against the elderly?
When it comes to who commits elder abuse, there’s no simple answer – anybody entrusted with looking after a loved one is capable. However, the facts tell us that abuse is common in care facilities.
According to the World Health Organisation, up to two in three nursing and care home staff admit to committing some kind of abuse.
However, it is not limited to care home settings. Some family members may act as live-in carers, or it could simply be a one-off incident.
Anybody who is responsible for looking after an elderly person’s care could be capable.
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What are the warning signs of elder abuse?
If you’re not sure how to identify elder abuse, it helps to look for signs related to the seven types. For example:
- Physical Abuse may show with bruises, burns, sprains, breaks or signs of self-treatment.
- Emotional abuse may be identifiable if your loved one has mood swings, appears withdrawn, or has different eating and sleeping patterns.
- Neglect may show up as weight loss, a sudden decline in health due to missing medication, or poor hygiene.
- Abandonment could cause an elderly person to look lonely, depressed, confused or malnourished.
- Sexual abuse may present as bruises near the genitals, panic attacks, problems with mobility, or emotional withdrawal.
- Financial abuse may manifest as missing items in the property, unexplained bank withdrawals, unpaid bills or financial arrangements with no consent.
- Self-neglect may be apparent if the person has bedsores, rashes, unclean clothing or unsanitary living conditions.
What should I do if I suspect elder abuse?
If you think a loved one may be being abused, try to talk to them in private. They may be reluctant to share information or they may be confused, particularly if they have cognitive issues such as dementia.
Try to look for other signs such as bruising or poor hygiene. Look at their living environment too – if it’s a care home, you might ask to look at records of medication or bathroom visits. If they are living in their own home, you might want to check their bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. Signs of poor hygiene and malnutrition may come to light.
Your next step is to report the abuse. Remember – you do not need to prove the abuse; you simply need to log that it is happening. The relevant authorities can deal with your report.
How do I report elder abuse?
There are a number of organisations to which you can report elder abuse. If your loved one is in a home, ask to speak to a senior member of staff to log a report. If you’re worried your loved one is in immediate danger, you may even have cause to dial 999. We understand that it’s not always easy to report a carer – particularly if you feel your loved one has nowhere else to go. This is why outside organisations exist to help, for example:
- Pharmacies operate an ‘ANI’ scheme. By asking for ‘Ani’ you can report abuse safely and anonymously.
- Hourglass is the UK’s only elder abuse hotline. You can call them on 0808 808 8141.
- Adult Social Services at your local council may be able to review your loved one’s situation.
- The Care Quality Commission is responsible for ensuring care homes meet strict standards.
- Your GP or NHS healthcare provider may be able to give you advice on safeguarding.
- The Domestic Abuse Helpline is available for those suffering abuse at home. You can call 0808 2000 247.
Elder Abuse – The Facts & Stats
According to the World Health Organisation, the latest statistics on elder abuse show that:
- 1 in 6 people aged 60 years or older experienced abuse in community settings in the last year.
- Up to 2 in 3 staff in institutions have committed abuse in the past year.
- Psychological abuse is the most highly reported type, at 11.6% in community settings.
- Sexual abuse is the least highly reported type at 0.9% in community settings.
How is elder abuse proven?
If your concerns are consistent with evidence of harm or neglect, this could lead to prosecution and help you with any elder abuse compensation claims. To help your case, you should consider gathering:
Contact information for your loved one
Details of their current support network
Details about any potential abusers
Details about the abuse
Medical conditions and medication
Your own contact information.
It is not up to you to know how to prove elder abuse. Once your case has been received, it will be reviewed by the relevant authorities, such as the care home, Social Services or the police.
These authorities are responsible for proving elder abuse. They may recommend medical reports, inspections of care home or home environments, and any records, such as cleaning and medication rounds.
If you would like to make an elder abuse compensation claim, we can help you to gather this evidence. We will start your no win, no fee case and help you claim a financial settlement from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
This is a government body designed to compensate victims of crime and abuse, without directly suing the abusers themselves.
It is often the best route for those looking to claim elder abuse compensation. It means that the attacker will not know about the claim, and you can also claim if you do not know the attacker.
At Criminal Injuries Helpline, we have decades of experience settling claims just like yours, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.
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What is the punishment for elder abuse?
According to Community Care, elder abuse is punishable by imprisonment for up to four years. However, if the case is severe, for example if the victim suffers grievous bodily harm or death, then the punishment could be up to 10 years in prison.
Sentences for non-physical abuse such as financial abuse may be smaller. If a care home facility is involved, this may also result in the employee being dismissed, or even the home being shut down.
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When you’ve suffered a traumatic experience, you may feel as though there is nowhere to turn. The team at Criminal Injuries Helpline is here to listen to you.
If you’ve suffered an assault, you’re likely to be experiencing many different feelings. You may seek justice, financial compensation or even an apology
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Your journey to recovery will go beyond financial compensation or criminal justice. You may also seek counselling or other support. You can find out more about elder abuse support below.
Victim Support is an independent charity in England and Wales that helps those affected by crime. All support is free and confidential.
The organisation offers information on different types of crime, what happens in a court case, and safeguarding.
Call 0808 168 9111 – 24 hours a day.