The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has launched a new website to help older people who are being abused, or those at risk, find the information, advice and support they need.
Using the new website, older people, as well as their family and friends, can easily search for services and support in their local area that can help them if they are experiencing abuse, are concerned they might be at risk, or are concerned about someone else. They can also find details of key national organisations and more specialised services available, which in some cases offer round the clock support.
The Commissioner developed the website in response to concerns highlighted by older people, including survivors of abuse, who said they often did not know where to turn for help and support relating to abuse, which can take many forms – such as domestic abuse, sexual violence and financial abuse – and affects thousands of older people in Wales each year.
As well as being a helpful and user-friendly resource for older people, the new website will also be useful for staff working across a range of public services and third sector organisations, who will be able to easily access information about the help and support available – both locally and nationally – that can be shared with the older people they work and engage with.
In addition to the website, the Commissioner has also launched a new information leaflet – Get Help Stay Safe – which will be particularly useful for older people who are not online. The leaflet provides details about where people can go for help and support, the signs of abuse they should be looking out for, and what to do if they are concerned about someone else.
Over 10,000 copies of the leaflet have already been distributed throughout Wales, and will be delivered to older people on the Commissioner’s behalf by a wide range of partners including local authorities, health boards, and the police, as well as through community groups, older people’s forums, sheltered housing schemes and care homes.
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“We know that older people who are being abused, or those who might be at risk, often do not know where to go to access the help and support they might need to keep them safe and protected.
“That’s why I commissioned research to identify the services available in Wales to provide support to older people, and brought all of this together as part of a new directory of services so that older people can easily find the information they need and access help if they need it.
“As many older people do not have access to the internet, I’ve also developed a new information leaflet, which is being distributed by partners working in communities throughout Wales to ensure that older people know the signs of abuse they need to look out for and can get in touch with organisations that can provide information, advice and help if they need it.
“I will continue working in partnership with over 30 organisations as part of the Stopping Abuse Action Group I established in April last year to ensure that action is taken to tackle potential gaps in services and other issues or barriers that may prevent people from accessing support, so that older people can get the help they need, when and where they need it.”