It’s hard enough when an elderly loved one becomes ill, let alone when you’re forced to bring in an extra pair of hands to help care for them.
But it has been revealed that unfortunately, home carers may not actually be the best option for our loved ones. 23,428 abuse accusations having been made against people working in private homes in parts of the UK over the past three years alone. And, not all councils provided data.
The news unfortunately only gets worse. The investigation also
revealed that despite the onslaught of allegations, actual prosecutions
for those accused were rare. Reportedly, only 700 of the total 23,428
reports were actually investigated by police – and shockingly, only 15
This new information comes from a Freedom of Information request submitted by the BBC – and is undoubtedly shocking and upsetting.
The United Kingdom Homecare Association, which is in charge of providing
home carers in the UK, admitted that the news was “horrifying”, and
suggested that the reason could be cuts to local government funding.
However, the government maintained that £7 billion had previously been
provided for elderly care.
Gary Fitzgerald, from the charity Action on Elder Abuse, explained, “The overwhelming majority of abuse is criminal in nature and never gets prosecuted. It gets social worked, but it doesn’t get prosecuted.”
Fitzgerald also revealed that police might even avoid prosecution in a case if an elderly person is involved. He said, “If there’s an investigation, rarely will the police be involved. If the police are involved, they don’t actually want to upset that old person, so they won’t prosecute.
“So you [the accused] might get a police caution if you’re lucky, or there might be no prosecution at all.”
The heartbreaking findings come as an outraged daughter also reveals that she found that her own mother was abused whilst under the supervision of two supposed carers.
Elizabeth Bundik filmed her mother’s room at home after becoming suspicious, and was shocked to find the two carers she had hired were instead abusing her 89-year-old mum, yanking her out of the bed, and even hitting her around the face.
Government officials have however maintained that they are set on attempting to fix the problem. A Department of Health official said to the BBC, “This government has introduced tougher inspections of care services, given councils access to up to £7.6bn of dedicated funding for social care and will continue to challenge local authorities that do not fulfil their duties under the Care Act.”
Want to know where you can report your suspicious of abuse on an elderly person? If you think a crime has been commited, call the police, or contact the local council if you have suspicions of abuse. If you want some advice on what to do, contact Action on Elder Abuse, at 0808 808 8141.