If there are suspicions of abuse and you feel you are able to address this with the older person, it may be a good idea to speak to them to clarify the situation. Sometimes there is an explanation for what is going on and there is no abuse.

However, if there are more difficult circumstances and it is not possible to speak to the person in question, and/or this person is not able to protect themselves, you can report this abuse to the adult safeguarding/protection team. Each nation has its own systems so look on our nation pages for contact information: England, Wales, ScotlandNorthern Ireland

In an emergency situation you should contact the police. It is important to know if the person in question ready to seek help, as without their consent the authorities may be reluctant to intervene. There are exceptions to this though, such as when an older person lacks mental capacity, as a consequence of dementia for example, or where there is a clear and obvious risk.

Talk to our helpline if you are in any doubt.