Together we can end the harm, abuse & exploitation of older people across the UK

Action on Elder Abuse is a truly unique charity, supporting thousands of older people who are victims of despicable acts of abuse, cruelty and exploitation. After almost thirty years, this inspirational charity now needs its own critical lifeline. Without urgent support, Action on Elder Abuse will need to immediately decrease its support services for older people across the UK.

               

Elder abuse is a shocking and unacceptable societal issue. Most of us will reach old age, and have cherished older relatives.  Imagine if your mum or your grandad was being hurt, or your elderly neighbour is suffering in silence. 

Although official figures estimate that 10% of older people in the UK are victims of elder abuse, we know this is only the tip of the iceberg as so many victims are terrified of speaking up.  With the proliferation of loneliness among many of our older people, many are choosing to endure abuse (usually from their own family), rather than risk being on their own. 

We therefore must not allow our charity’s essential services to end.

This is truly an emergency situation for this vital charity.  We are therefore making this plea to ensure we can continue to support the estimated 1 million victims of elder abuse across the UK. 

How you can help:

  • donate £10 instantly by texting AEA10 to 70085
  • donate any amount online, by clicking the box below
  • follow us on social media and share our posts to help us reach more people (Twitter; Facebook)

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

Action on Elder Abuse, and the thousands of older people we support, will be incredibly grateful for any donation, grant or gift that you make to us. 

For example:    

  • £10 will pay for a volunteer to visit an older person through our Elder Abuse Recovery Service
  • £20 allows us to visit an older people's group to provide advice and support
  • £1,000 will train Helpline Volunteers to provide advice and support to victims of abuse
  • £25,000 will pay for our campaign worker to fight for changes in the law for better support and protection for older people

But of course, any amount will help change the life of an older person who is suffering, and will be a lifeline for this vital charity.     

                                         

We have exciting plans for further developing our services over the next few years in a sustainable way, but we need help in the short-term to realise our potential. 

Together we can end elder abuse. 

Read about some of the cases we have supported and how your donations make a difference

Norma

After decades of abuse, Action on Elder Abuse has given me my life back’

For Norma Harvey, 74, Action on Elder Abuse’s support has allowed her to get her life back together after a horrific 20-year campaign of abuse by her former partner.

Despite falling for a man she initially thought of as her “fairytale prince”, the relationship soon soured as Norma, from Brighton, began to discover the person she loved had a dark side. He became increasingly abusive and controlling, stealing her bank card to fund his drink and drug habits. Before long, this had escalated to repeated sexual assaults, physical beatings and psychological torment.

The final attack Norma endured was so severe it led to her being hospitalised, with damage to her liver and eyes and severe bruising to her face, legs and feet. Norma recalls how she thought she would die from the punches he rained down on her and only managed to escape after he fell asleep in a drunken stupor.

Norma successfully pressed charges and saw her partner jailed for two-and-a-half years, although due to time on remand he was free just nine months after the trial. Since then, Norma has continued to live with significant health problems from the decades of abuse she suffered.  

However, after the assault that left her in hospital, Norma was referred to Action on Elder Abuse by a care support agency. She has since been helped by AEA’s local Elder Abuse Recovery Service (EARS) in Sussex, which is led by coordinator Gail Shanahan.

“Gail has been my rock, my guardian angel,” said Norma. “I don't know what I'd do without her. She feels like my sister. She comes regularly to see me and often calls me to see how I am. She's always there for me.”

The ongoing support has allowed Norma to regain her zest for life and rebuild her confidence. Norma has started enjoying her lifelong love of singing once more and has overcome lingering fears to start travelling on public transport again for days out.

Norma added: “Action on Elder Abuse’s support has been so important in finding I was not alone and that this happens to other people. I was blaming myself but realised it was not my fault. My health problems mean there have been setbacks, but Action on Elder Abuse give me constant support and push me in the right direction. They’ve given me my life back.”

Gail commented: “Norma has shown sheer determination and willpower, but her story also highlights the significant impact our service has on victims of abuse. In spite of everything they have endured, we aim to empower them to do things they genuinely never felt would be possible again.”

Steven Fitzpatrick and his dad. 

AEA “a tower of strength” in Power of Attorney dispute:

Action on Elder Abuse has supported Steven Fitzpatrick in his battle to have a Power of Attorney document overturned so that he can legally see his own father, Walter, who suffers from vascular dementia.

Steven, 52, from Edinburgh, has been pleading with Scotland’s Office of the Public Guardian and other public agencies for the last four years to intervene to stop the abuse Steven claims has led to a deterioration in 74-year-old Walter’s mental and physical health.

The problem got even worse two years ago, after his elder brother was able to obtain a PoA document that named him as having sole powers as welfare and financial attorney. This legal document, which is very difficult to contest, has meant Steven and his younger brother have been barred by staff from visiting their father at Gartnavel Royal Infirmary in Glasgow.

Steven’s mental health and family life have been wrecked by the stress of the ordeal.

“I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks,” said Steven. “I’m shattered. I’ve had to deal with my dad being diagnosed with vascular dementia and being abused.

“The elder abuse reaches so much further than just the older adult,” he added. “It hurts the families who have to navigate their way through a heartbreaking and demoralising system that’s supposed to protect.”

Steven has received unwavering support from AEA case worker Brian Rapley. Brian’s experience of the social care system and supporting older people for more than 10 years meant he was able to help Steven address this fundamental abuse and misunderstanding by health and social care staff of incapacity legislation.

Brian has provided ongoing emotional support, as well as helping practically by contacting health professionals and drafting letters of support. On one occasion Brian supported Steven at a meeting he had with his father’s mental health professionals.

Despite winning a court case that saw the ban on visiting overturned recently, Steven’s fight is not over. He is now launching a legal guardianship application which, if successful, will supersede the PoA.

“Brian has been a tower of strength to me,” said Steven. “He has become a friend and inspiration to me. I appreciate all the help Action on Elder Abuse has given me. You should be so proud of your extraordinary staff.”

Graham Taylor, a beloved Grandfather.

AEA backs granddaughter fighting for justice:

Action on Elder Abuse is supporting Tania Taylor to get justice for her beloved grandfather, Graham Taylor, who died aged 81 in February 2019.

When Tania and her family discovered horrific pressure sores on Graham’s back that no-one at his care home near Rochdale could adequately explain, they decided to install a secret camera to see what was going on.

But the footage it captured shocked them to the core. In the video, Graham can be heard screaming ‘help’ as he is manhandled by care staff who tell him to ‘shut up’, call him an ‘idiot’ and mock him.

“We just couldn’t believe what we were watching,” said Tania, 34. “You’d be shocked to see an animal treated like that, let alone your own grandfather, in a place where he was supposed to be safe and cared for.”

Graham was forced to move into a care home, separated from his wife of 60 years, Freda, after suffering several strokes and a fall that left him needing near-constant care. After uncovering the incident of abuse, Tania and her family quickly moved Graham out of the home. Sadly, Graham passed away three weeks later after developing sepsis in hospital.

The management at Mona Cliffe care home have consistently denied any wrongdoing and a police investigation did not find evidence of criminality, despite the video footage. The incident is now being investigated further by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In response, Tania and her family have set up the ‘Justice for Graham’ campaign. They want the threshold for prosecution in cases such as Mr Taylor's to be lowered, and for all care homes to produce information setting out the minimum standards of care families should expect and what to do if those standards are not being met. They also want all care homes to have audio or video recording, and for the CQC to inform the public when a serious complaint has been made against a home.

AEA is in the process of supporting Tania to have the case reviewed and has made representation to the Police Chief Constable and the Mayor in Greater Manchester, the local Safeguarding Adults Board and the CQC.

“It’s as though the system is designed to confuse you and frustrate justice. It is shocking to have video evidence and for it not to be enough” said Tania. “Having Action on Elder Abuse on my side makes me feel that my family aren’t fighting this battle alone. We are so grateful for their support.”