A recent article in the Telegraph highlights the endemic problems experienced by those entering the care home system, with abuse and neglect being present in 9 out of 10 care homes. The article reports on University College London's recent survey of care home staff in England, which indicates neglectful behaviours are widespread. Within this survey examples of neglect include delaying attending to their care needs and not giving them enough time to eat their food, as well as not taking elderly people outside or paying any attention to their individual interests. The report isn't saying that abuse is widespread, rather that there is a casual neglect of elderly people's needs, and not necessarily through the deliberate actions of the staff. The report suggests staff are stretched too thin, given too few resources and simply don't have time to do anything more than the deliver basic care.
It is sad and shocking that yet another report has come out which tells a tale of neglect of the older people in our society. Whether it is because this neglect and abuse is largely hidden from sight, or we are so busy in our hectic working lives that few of us stop to notice this scandal which is happening right now and in a care home near us, according to the statistics. The report from UCL research shows that abuse and neglect was identified in all but one of the care homes they investigated and by more than half of respondents.. It begs the question whether this has now become the new 'normal'.
As solicitors, we tend to come into contact with cases like this quite often, on an individual level, where a concerned friend or relative comes to ask our advice about what they can do to prevent what they see as neglect or abuse. The abuse can sometimes take subtle and less obvious forms, such as overcharging for services provided, like care or cutting the lawn, or sometimes money has been taken or 'loaned', or persuading an older person to change their Will or make a Power of Attorney in their favour.
Our expertise in handling cases like this for elderly clients, their families, and those who have dementia or lost capacity make us perfectly placed to give advice to resolve these most complex of issues.
Article written by Tammy Parnell, Partner and Contentious Probate and Trusts Solicitor at Clapham & Collinge.
Our specialist team of contentious probate solicitors can advise and support with cases involving elderly care and financial abuse of the elderly. Contact us today to discuss your individual circumstances in further detail, our specialist solicitors will talk you through your options and advise on the next steps. Contact us on 01603 693500 or email us using 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham offices.
*This article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice.