Our project

Our recovery project is an innovative means of supporting victims of elder abuse to recover from the abuse they have experienced, and develop the skills and confidence to stay safe in the future.

The project is a structured one-to-one support service which matches victims of elder abuse with specially selected 'peer' volunteers to support them in their recovery. Volunteers could be someone who has experienced abuse themselves, someone of a similar age, or someone with similar interests. The key factor is that the older person is matched with someone they feel comfortable with, supporting them in an informal, supportive and non-threatening environment.

While this project includes an element of befriending, it goes much further by focusing on recovery, building resilience and self-recovery, and enabling older people to regain their independence and re-integrate into their local community. It therefore includes defined milestones to allow clients to move on and no longer require the support of the volunteer.

We've recently received funding to develop our first Elder Abuse Recovery Project in Fife, with the intention of rolling it out across other parts of Scotland in due course. 

Picture of older and lady with arms round each other

Current stage of the project

We are currently only offering the Elder Abuse Recovery Project in Fife as our chosen pilot area.

We're in the development stages of the project, and hope to start delivering support to older people around May.  We're currently recruiting for project volunteers so that we can train and induct them over the next few months.

Would you like to be a project volunteer?  Find out more here

If you're an older person, or you support older clients, who would like to receive support through this project, you can register initial interest here.

Older people meeting the following criteria can participate in the project (subject to capacity):

  • aged 55 or over
  • have capacity to consent to participation in the project
  • have experienced some form of harm or abuse that has had a significant impact on their lives

It is not necessary for the client to have reported the harm/abuse to social work or the police to be able to participate in the project.

We hope to start delivering support to clients around May.

Benefits of the project

Historically there has been a limited focus on the long term impact elder abuse has upon victims. The focus of statutory support has been to remove the victim from the abusive situation and ensure their safety. However, many victims are left emotionally and psychologically traumatised, and a recent study found that 76% of elder abuse survivors suffer from serious emotional and social side-effects. These people need support to help them recover, and this type of support is not currently provided by statutory or third sector agencies. Our project addresses this gap and facilitates survivors’ journeys towards full recovery.

Those who will benefit from the project include:

  • Victims of abuse whose health and well-being will be improved. Clients will:

    • reach full recovery from the emotional and psychological effects of abuse

    • regain their independence, confidence and reintegrate into their local community

    • gain the the tools and capabilities to protect themselves in the future 

  • A reduction in reliance on health and social care services by victims;

  • Cost savings will accrue to existing local services where the need for adult safeguarding has been prevented;

  • The Police, NHS and other care professionals will have a cost effective referral service that they can use to help and support victims.

Picture of elder abuse recovery client

What's involved?

The project will match specially trained volunteers with recent victims of elder abuse, working with them in both one-to-one and group situation basis for a maximum of 12 months. The support can be provided in the older person's own home, community centres, residential homes or other settings (including over the phone) according to their individual needs. Support will be tailored for each client, but may include:

  • befriending and one-to-one support (either over the phone or face-to-face, in or both depending on how the client progresses)
  • activity-based support, e.g. the client and volunteer taking part in clubs, groups, hobbies or therapeutic activities together
  • advocacy, e.g. empowering clients to speak up and call for improvements to the support framework for victims of elder abuse.

We'll work to engage the older person with their local community as much as possible, encouraging them to take part in the things they used to do, as well as introducing them to new activities and social groups.

Find out more

If you'd like to find out more about the project, please contact Lesley Carcary, Director of AEA Scotland:

Tel: 0749 666 3815  E-mail: [email protected] 

As this project is free to older people, we're always looking for help with the ongoing costs. If you'd like to donate to the project, please click on the button below.

Donate to the project here