Abuse of vulnerable adults

Some years ago I did some work for a large domiciliary care agency. Apart from the training we offered, which was enthusiastically received, about how to safeguard vulnerable adults several cases came to my attention concerning financial abuse.

It’s very difficult for social workers and others to investigate this unless family members bring this to their attention. The more obvious instances are those of relatives helping themselves to cash, ornaments or other possessions each time they visit their elderly and confused relatives. Occasionally  a carer would engage in criminal activity. We’ve all heard of families having to put in surveillance cameras. But one of the more insidious abuses that I’ve heard of and I’m not sure how pervasive this is, was some domiciliary carers taking the medication from the client and swapping it for aspirin or other innocuous tablets in order to sell the drugs on the street.

I’d just be interested to hear from you all if your experiences bear this out or if there has been any research on the matter?

I’m aware that domestic violence doesn’t have an upper age limit, we all know that it continues right through all age bands. It just seems to me that we focus on this problem in younger families more often than we do in the elderly. Again I’d very much like to hear your thoughts on this.

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