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Lawyer for elderly abuse victims welcomes today's awareness day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day falls on the 15th June each year

Elderly man sitting on bench

15 June 2015

Human rights solicitor Emma Jones who represents elderly abuse victims and their families welcomes today’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Emma has acted for hundreds of families whose elderly relatives have received substandard care and who have been neglected, bullied and suffered human rights violations in various setting, including hospitals and care homes.

A Healthcare Commission report published in May 2009 reported that between 400 and 1200 people died unnecessarily at Stafford Hospital and Emma settled many cases for the families of those affected.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was set up by the United Nations following representation from the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. 

National charity Action on Elder Abuse acts as the co-ordinator for the day in the UK.

The charity says that the awareness day is about creating a greater recognition of the mistreatment of the elderly throughout the world, and to highlight the need for action to prevent this.

The United Nations estimates that the abuse of the elderly in developing and developed countries is typically underreported. In some developed countries prevalence rates range from 1% to 10% but many countries do not gather data on this type of abuse.

The human rights of elderly people

Abuse of the elderly can be defined as "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person".

This can include physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.

Welcoming today’s awareness day solicitor Emma Jones from the human rights department at Leigh Day said:

"Recognising the importance of these issues cannot be underestimated.  The number of cases we are investigating has risen considerably over the past few years. 

"It is imperative that we work together, as a society, to ensure that vulnerable older adults are protected, and, if they are not, that the full force of the law is used to gain justice for the individuals and to hold the initiation/individual responsible to account."

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