Valerie Watts, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board recently signed the International Declaration on Elder Abuse, in order to support World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on behalf of the Health and Social care board.
Research has shown that 2% of the population over the age of 65 are exposed to some form of abuse every year, making elderly abuse a global issue. Valerie Watts displayed her appreciation of the boards support for the Declaration: –
“It is important that we raise concerns about the risks to older people who suffer from neglect or are victims of financial, emotional, physical or sexual abuse. We all have a responsibility to watch for signs of abuse and report it to the relevant organisations. The Declaration commits the Board to a zero tolerance approach to the abuse of older people and that is very much the foundation of our approach to all adult safeguarding activities”.
Health Minister Michelle O’Neill also said of the announcement:- “I welcome the Health and Social Care Board’s commitment to a zero tolerance approach to abuse of older people in our society. It is incumbent on all of us to support initiatives such as this that aim to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our society”.
In Northern Ireland the Board have become outstanding in safeguarding adults through the Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership (NIASP). NIASP enforced the safeguarding policy which allows those within the community, PSNI officers, social and health care providers to work to help prevent harm to adults at risk.
Commitments to the protection of the elderly with our society is of course welcomed and demonstrates the increase in awareness of the problem particularly within health and social care settings.