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The Police and Crime Commissioner visited a care centre to pledge his support for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Simon Foster has backed Age UK Birmingham and Sandwell’s campaign, because one in five older people in the UK suffer some form of abuse. That equates to about 2.7 million victims.

Those with dementia are at particular risk, with two out of three being abused.

To mark the occasion, the Commissioner, along with Victims’s Commissioner Nicky Brennan, visited Ann Marie Howes Centre in Sheldon Heath, Birmingham to meet staff and residents and raise awareness of the campaign.

Simon Foster, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is deeply concerning that two in three dementia sufferers are the victims of abuse and I was pleased to be here today to see what action is being taken to help victims of this terrible crime.

“I am pleased to be supporting these local agencies with their work in tackling this behaviour, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and I was impressed with the work going on at the Ann Marie Howes Centre, to support those most at risk.”

Age UK Birmingham and Sandwell have teamed up with Birmingham City Council Safeguarding team and the Sandwell Consortium for this year’s campaign, as they aim to raise awareness and help stamp out abuse of older people.

Steve Thomson, Chief Executive Officer at Age UK Birmingham and Sandwell said: “Elder abuse doesn’t only happen to very frail or sick people, it can happen to any older person in any environment, sadly it can happen at home and even in medical or care settings.

“At Age UK Birmingham and Sandwell, we take a stand against all forms of elder abuse and we encourage everyone to be aware of the signs and speak out, if they feel something is wrong or suspect abuse is taking place.”

Only four per cent of all abuse gets reported as research shows a lot of older people suffer in silence, not wanting to cause any trouble. Sadly, it doesn’t just happen to frail or sick people. It can happen to any older person in any environment, including at home by people they love or in a medical or care setting by those looking after them.

Age UK Birmingham and Sandwell are using WEAAD to raise awareness of the types of abuse suffered by older people that can include:

• Physical abuse – hitting, pushing or inappropriate use of drugs or restraints

• Psychological or emotional abuse – insults, threats, humiliation and controlling behaviours

• Sexual abuse – sexual contact without consent

• Financial exploitation – misusing or stealing a persons’ money or assets

• Neglect and abandonment – not providing adequate food, housing or medical care

Age UK Birmingham and Sandwell are already addressing the issue through direct work with older people, like at the Memory Care Centre at Anne Marie Howes, which provides a safe space for older people with Dementia to speak freely and socialise with staff and service users.

To mark the day, people were also asked to wear something purple – as a symbol for dignity.

If you suspect an older person is at risk of abuse, there are a number of ways you can report it:

• If someone is in immediate danger you should call 999.

• Contact the police if you think a crime has been committed, or contact your local council, if you think someone is at risk or is being abused.

• You should also contact the local council if you are concerned about someone not being treated properly in a care home or someone being mistreated by a carer.

• If you are worried someone is at risk in an NHS hospital or clinic you should contact the manager.

• If you want to discuss your concerns and get some advice, contact Hourglass (Safer Ageing) on 0808 808 8141.

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