Azara Blog: Lots of old people are allegedly being abused

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Date published: 2007/06/14

The BBC says:

Hundreds of thousands of elderly people are being abused in their own homes, research suggests.

The study, funded by the government and Comic Relief, suggests that in eight out of 10 cases the abuser is someone well known to the elderly person.

It can involve physical abuse or neglect and sometimes financial mistreatment.

Ivan Lewis, the care services minister, said there would soon be new guidelines for official handling of abuse cases.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that abusers of older people should be treated in a similar way to child abusers by the courts.

"The findings [of the study] are disturbing. I think there are real cultural issues in our society in the way we treat older people," said Mr Lewis

"What we need to aim for is a society where we are as outraged by the abuse and neglect of an older person as we are by the abuse of a child, and we are a long, long way from it."

None of this is surprising. And the BBC singularly fails to state whether the alleged abuse figures are worse than for any other relatively powerless sector of society. Abuse is abuse is abuse, no matter who it happens to. Of course every story has to be painted as extreme (or be silly) in order to see the light of day in the modern media.

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