Cheshire East Council and the Safeguarding Adults Board are supporting National Safeguarding Adults Week with a range of activities to make people aware of the different types of abuse that some people experience.
National Adult Safeguarding week – which starts on Monday 16 November – is an excellent opportunity to promote adult safeguarding and the work that organisations are doing to protect residents across Cheshire East.
Adult safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. The Care Act 2014, describes 10 forms of adult abuse – they are: physical, domestic, sexual, psychological, financial and material, modern slavery, neglect, discriminatory, organisational and self-neglect. Adults at risk of abuse are people over 18, who are unable to protect themselves due to age, or disability.
Research by Action on Elder Abuse suggests that as many as one in eleven older people in the UK are mistreated or neglected by those they trust the most. Abuse can happen anywhere – in a person's home, in the street, in a residential or nursing home, at a day centre or resource centre, in a hospital or indeed any place where an adult at risk might be.
The purpose of National Safeguarding Adults Week is to raise awareness about adult abuse, so that everyone can spot the signs and know how to report safeguarding concerns. The council is facilitating sessions to help people to improve their knowledge about issues such as exploitation, grooming, financial abuse and cyber crime and how to link with key local organisations such as My CWA, which is running a session for frontline colleagues working with families affected by domestic abuse.
There will be lots of other information available during the week, along with interactive sessions. The full calendar can be accessed at: http://www.stopadultabuse.org.uk/NSA2020
A recent case highlighted the importance of staying aware of scams and potential financial abuse. Retired accountant, Bill, considered himself to be financially knowledgeable. Unfortunately, this did not protect him from falling victim to a phishing scam which caused him considerable stress.
The fraudsters set up legitimate looking websites, sent texts and official looking emails in order to convince innocent victims to part with personal information. They sometimes telephone residents, pretending to be from the bank or an official company.
Bill received an email that he thought was official and from his pension company. It had the correct logos and read like an official mailing. The email asked him to click on a link and to confirm his banking details. Unfortunately, the fraudsters then took £2,000 from his account.
The bank and Bill’s carer worked together, and Bill was reimbursed with his money, but this experience caused considerable stress for Bill and affected his confidence. Cheshire East Safeguarding Adults Board and the council’s trading standards team are promoting ways to keep residents safe from such scams during National Safeguarding Adults Week.
Councillor Laura Jeuda, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “It is very sad to say this, but adult abuse is far more common than many of us think. The council sits on a dedicated safeguarding adults board, which is committed to raising the profile of adult safeguarding.
“If you know someone who is experiencing abuse, please report it. Together we can stamp out all forms of abuse.”
Geoffrey Appleton, Independent Chair of Cheshire East’s Safeguarding Adults Board, said: “The week is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of safeguarding adult issues. The planned events throughout the week highlight how abuse can happen anywhere. It can be committed by anyone, and that abuse can take many forms.
“Whatever the circumstances, abuse is always wrong, and the week demonstrates how agencies in Cheshire East work together to support the person, to bring the abuse to an end”.
Throughout the week, the campaign and planned events will be highlighted by Cheshire East Council and its partner agencies on social media. Look for the hashtag #SafeguardingAdultsWeek.