I want to help

Elder abuse is often hidden.Victims may not understand what’s happening is wrong, or may be afraid to speak out.

Warning signs

Elder abuse can be emotional, physical, financial, social or sexual - or some mixture of these.

Signs that someone is being abused include: 

  • fear of a particular person or people
  • worry, anxiety or irritability
  • depression or withdrawal
  • disturbed sleep
  • changes in eating habits
  • suicidal thoughts
  • shaking, trembling, or crying
  • their posture is rigid
  • they express helplessness/hopelessness/sadness
  • reluctance to talk openly, letting others speak for them
  • they avoid contact with a specific person (or refuse to make eye contact or speak to them). 

These behaviours are possible signs of abuse - but it is important not to jump to conclusions.  If you have concerns about how someone is being treated you can call 0800 32 668 65 (0800 EA NOT OK).

If you think someone is in danger call 111.  Ask for the Police. It can be difficult to identify abuse. Key risk factors are age, material hardship, poor education, poor health, dependence on others, and social isolation.

Reaching out

If you're concerned that someone is experiencing elder abuse, it’s OK to help. Something as simple as asking how they are can make a real difference.  The sooner you reach out, the sooner they can get help.

If you think someone is in danger call 111.  Ask for the Police. 

How to have the conversation

You can ask:

  • Are you ok?
  • Do you want to talk?
  • Is someone hurting you?
  • Is there anything I can do?

Listen to what they have to say.  Try to give the support, rather than giving them advice or telling them what to do. 

It is important to let seniors make their own decisions.

Abuse can create feelings of shame.  Let them work through things in their own time. Call the Elder Abuse Response Services helpline for support 0800 32 668 65 (0800 EA NOT OK).