Monday, October 29, 2007

THERE Can Be No Excuse for Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly

By Sarah O'Grady

UK, Essex .-THERE can be no excuse for abuse and neglect of the elderly, a minister said yesterday.

Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis called for violence towards an old person to be regarded as severely as
harming a child.

Mr Lewis added: “We need a zero-tolerance approach to the abuse and neglect of older people. We need to get that message across to frontline staff and particularly to managers.

“We need to be as outraged by the abuse of an older person as we are by the abuse of a child.”

His remarks were made as the first specialist helpline in the UK was launched by the charity Action on Elder Abuse.

The move comes after peers and MPs denounced the “shameful” treatment of elderly people in hospitals and care homes in a report published in August.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights called for a “complete change of culture” in health and care services and said new legal obligations should be placed on old peoples’ homes.

Chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse, Gary FitzGerald, said: “The care-home sector has received a lot of criticism in recent years for failing to respond to abuse issues.


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