Physical and emotional abuse of the elderly—detection and remedies
Produced in partnership with Miriam Gitlin of OGR Stock Denton
Physical and emotional abuse of the elderly—detection and remedies

The following Private Client guidance note Produced in partnership with Miriam Gitlin of OGR Stock Denton provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Physical and emotional abuse of the elderly—detection and remedies
  • How to recognise physical and emotional abuse
  • Intervention of statutory bodies
  • Abuse in a care setting
  • Deprivation of liberty safeguards
  • Civil remedies to prevent or stop abuse

The physical and emotional abuse of the elderly is a problem that can be difficult to detect and to prevent. The Department of Health statutory guidance of October 2014, para 14.16, issued under the Care Act 2014 (CA 2014), sets out examples of physical, sexual, psychological and emotional abuse which can also include neglect and acts of omission such as failure to provide access to appropriate health care and support, as well as self-neglect and discrimination on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation.

How to recognise physical and emotional abuse

Solicitors dealing with vulnerable clients should familiarise themselves with the Law Society Practice Note on Financial Abuse with regard to their general duty towards clients. In particular, they must identify who is the client, take the client’s (not a family member or carer’s) instructions and act in the client’s best interests.

It is important to be able to recognise the indicators of abuse. This could be obvious if there are physical injuries or signs of neglect but might not be so obvious if a client is agitated or withdrawn. A useful and comprehensive list of indicators is set out in the Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) A Strategy for Recognising, Preventing and Dealing with the Abuse of Older and Vulnerable People guidance.

Most interventions to stop or prevent abuse require