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Domestic Abuse in Older People

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Fact. Domestic abuse doesn’t necessarily involve violence.

Fact. Domestic abuse isn’t always between partners in a relationship

Fact. Domestic abuse doesn’t only affect younger people

Fact. Domestic abuse doesn’t have to happen more than once to count as abuse.

Domestic Abuse

Age UK - Report into Domestic Abuse in Older People

A report by released by Age UK at the end of last year, focussed on the saddening topic of domestic abuse in older people; with new data helping to approve the Charity’s understanding of abuse.

Predominantly associated with women and young children, when it comes to domestic abuse, Age UK has highlighted gaps in the data.

Here a are few facts, based on their recent research:

• Domestic abuse can happen to anyone – being older does not provide protection.

• Up until 2020, the Office for National Statistics only gathered research on domestic abuse up to the age of 74 years, resulting in a shortage of good data

• At the beginning of 2022, 1 in 30 people aged 60 to 74 had been subjected to domestic abuse, and 1 in 50 aged 75+, which is equal to 400,000 older people in England and Wales.

• Domestic abuse has many guises – physical, sexual, emotional and financial, emotional, controlling, coercive, or threatening

• Older people are just as likely to be abused by an adult, child or grandchild as they are a partner or spouse

• Men become at increased risk the older they get.

• Many of those subjected to abuse, have a health condition or disability as and much may have to reply on their abuser for care and support

What can be done?

We need to raise awareness and ditch the stereotypical victim as younger women. Its’s particularly important for us to do this among our industry, amongst health and social care professionals. For them to be able to recognise the signs of domestic abuse. To take the opportunity to ask about possible abuse at hospital discharge, care assessments or GP appointments.

Better data is required and as such, the need to keep accurate records of domestic abuse is imperative. As is providing older victims and survivors with the resources they need.

All of Pure Heart’s Support Workers are fully trained in safeguarding adults and children, as well as in how to recognise signs and symptoms of abuse, how to record it and report it. If you, or you feel that someone you care about, may be a victim of abuse, then help is here. Please reach out.

What is Age UK doing?

Age UK has partnered with Hourglass – a charity working to end abuse and neglect of older people. Complex abuse cases received by Age UKs safeguarding team will be discussed with the victim and with their permission, will be referred to Hourglass, who will develop a tailored safety plan to support older people.

Age UK has joined Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA) - a network of employers committed to supporting their employees who have been subjected to abuse. Its safeguarding team, speaking at conferences and events, to further spread the word of domestic abuse; educating professionals to recognise the subtle signs that an older person may be subjected to abuse.

Pure Heart Homecare - 01945 773861

Age UK Advice line – 0800 678 1602

Hourglass – 0808 808 8141

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