Mark pledges support on first world elder abuse awareness day

June 20, 2006 11:26 AM
Help the Aged Jun06

Mark has pledged his support to Help the Aged's campaign

Local MP, Mark Hunter, has joined Help the Aged in a national campaign to raise awareness of the abuse of older people, as the Charity supports the first ever World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) which took place on June 15.

500,000 older people are believed to be abused at any one time in the UK. With evidence suggesting that abuse is often committed at home and by a relative, Help the Aged is urging members of the public to make sure they understand elder abuse and know what to do if they think someone is being abused.

Mark Hunter MP is supporting Help the Aged in its campaign to tackle this national scandal by signing a special 'I Will' pledge.

The Charity aims to collect 25,000 pledges to support its call for Government action to tackle this national scandal.

Mark Hunter MP has signed the Help the Aged pledge and is encouraging others in Cheadle to follow suit.

Mark said, "Everyone agrees that the abuse of older people is appalling but sadly it continues to happen to large numbers of people. That is why I am supporting Help the Aged's campaign to raise awareness of these issues. Together we can help ensure that this kind of abuse no longer goes undetected and unpunished."

Kate Jopling, parliamentary spokesperson for Help the Aged, says:

"Half a million older people are believed to be abused at any one time in the UK. This is a shocking statistic. Abuse can take many forms and is often difficult to detect. For some older people it may mean having their savings slowly siphoned off and stolen. For others, the abuse may be psychological and involve being repeatedly shouted and sworn at.

"Everyone has a role to play in keeping older people safe from abuse and to make sure that it doesn't go on undetected. We can all help by keeping a watchful eye out for neighbours, friends and relatives."

Help the Aged is encouraging the public to visit www.iwill.co.uk to sign up to the 'I Will' pledge to help stop to elder abuse, or to download a blank petition. Alternatively, members of the public can pop into any Help the Aged high street shop to sign the petition.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

• Help the Aged is supporting World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15 June 2006), which is organised by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. For more information visit www.inpea.net

• In January 2006, Help the Aged launched a nationwide campaign to help tackle elder abuse, in partnership with Action on Elder Abuse. As part of the campaign the Charity is supporting and promoting a dedicated helpline run by the charity Action on Elder Abuse.

• The Action on Elder Abuse response line, a free helpline for anyone worried that an older person is at risk, is available 9:00am - 5:00pm Monday to Friday: 080 8808 8141.

Key facts about elder abuse

• 500,000 older people are believed to be abused at any one time in the UK.

Calls to the Action on Elder Abuse helpline indicate that:

• Woman and those aged 70 years plus are at higher risk of being abused;

• Typically, the person committing abuse is known to the person experiencing abuse and is in a position of trust;

• 64% per cent of abuse happens in the home and 28% per cent in a professional setting;

• 46 per cent of abuse is carried out by family members, and 34 per cent by paid workers;

• It is important to note, however, that where the person committing abuse is a family member, that it is not normally the primary carer.

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