20 March 2007

Secret Scandal of Elder Abuse

In its 2000 "No Secrets" national framework, the Government set out guidance on developing and implementing policies and procedures so that local councils with social services responsibilities, local NHS bodies, local police forces and other partners could protect vulnerable adults from abuse.

The detailed assessment provided by the Commission for Social Care Inspection to the BBC revealing that a sixth of all councils in England are failing to protect vulnerable adults in their care will come as a shock to anyone with elderly relatives in care.

Yet, even accepting Labour's mistaken belief that it knows better and can do better than families and local communities, we probably shouldn't simply blame the state for this sorry state of affairs. We all have a duty towards those who nurtured and cared for us and who now need our help. We must all be involved in ensuring justice and compassion for the infirm and the elderly.


MikeC said...

On 27th February, most papers and the BBC website, carried a story about the financial implications of an a massive increase of sufferers from Alzeihiemers in the next 8 years. The headline for the story was:

The number of dementia sufferers is set to double in the next 25 years, according to a report, which puts the current cost at £1.4bn.

My comment - until there is a change in language and consciousness, and we start to avoid such important health issues in primarily financial terms, we will continue to assume that money solves health problems, and will continue to turn a blind eye to the most essential need - for families to look after each other.

Where this is not possible, the state and I hope the community, has a critical role to play, but we have lost our sense of responsibility for those close to us.