Physical and emotional abuse of the elderly—detection and remedies
Physical and emotional abuse of the elderly—detection and remedies

The following Private Client practice note 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
  • Police
  • Local authorities
  • Abuse in a care setting
  • Deprivation of liberty safeguards
  • Civil remedies to prevent or stop abuse

Physical and emotional abuse of the elderly—detection and remedies

The physical and emotional abuse of the elderly is a problem that can be difficult to detect and to prevent. The Care and support statutory guidance, issued by the Department of Health and Social Care under the Care Act 2014 (CA 2014), sets out at para 14.16 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be obvious if there are physical injuries or signs of neglect but might not be so obvious if a client is agitated or withdrawn.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 safeguarding strategy for recognising, preventing and dealing with abuse of adults at risk guidance.

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