Putting an end to being
‘Last in line’
Today marks the start of Safer Ageing Week 2021 and I will start by sharing some positive and exciting news.
Today in Sussex we’ve teamed up with the Police and Crime Commissioner to launch the UK’s first ever group of Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA’s) who specialise in working with those over 65. The IDVA’s will provide tailored support to older people in the county who have experienced abuse and neglect. Most often people will be referred via our helpline or from local partner organisations. This is a game changing step in the right direction to ensure safer ageing for all and we’re looking forward to seeing where the results may take us.
This Safer Ageing Week we are also releasing stark new findings which show that older people, at heightened risk from all of the scenarios we have been living through for the past year and a half, have been deprioritised by government and beyond.
On Wednesday, we’re publishing Last in Line, a paper which shows our findings from a study we conducted earlier this month. The narrative is shocking but not surprising - sadly the abuse and neglect of older people is falling last in line, barely visible as an issue in terms of profile, debate and action in government and the public. The paper will be the first in a series of briefing papers that will form our Safer Ageing Index – the first ever comprehensive examination of how the UK is doing when it comes to creating the right conditions for older people to age safely. Watch this space.
We also have a virtual chatbot launching this week which helps us extend our services to concerned people who might not be able to access our helpline. The chatbot will provide 24/7 support and will enable us to support more people. I’m pleased to say we are also opening Knowledge Bank to the rest of the UK following its pilot in Scotland.
This Safer Ageing Week we hope you will join us in ensuring the abuse of older people no longer comes last in line. We’re calling for a national campaign to raise public awareness and support for the issue and the creation of a Safer Ageing fund to tackle abuse and support safer ageing for older people across the UK.