Kathelene happy with new carers
Hidden Scandal of Elder Abuse
Evadney Campbell, Croydon Reporter
Hundreds of thousands of elderly people are being abused in their own home, many by family members, according to a recent report.
Older people are frequently victims of abuse, ranging from theft, fraud or emotional abuse to even sexual or physical assault according to this report.
The research, commissioned by Croydon-based charity Action on Elder Abuse, was funded by the government and Comic Relief.
The Chair of the charity, Gary Fitzgerald, told the BBC the findings are not a surprise since they have claimed for sometime that the abuse of elderly people is alarming.
Gary Fitzgerald, Action on Elder Abuse
“When you look and think that we’re talking about perhaps more than the population of some of our cities facing abuse at any one time, that’s got to be considered shocking”, says Gary.
It could be your mother
The study highlighted cases like that of Kathelene Pitman in St John's Wood. She is amongst twenty per cent of older people who have been a victim of financial fraud by a paid carer.
“I thought I was going off my head, I couldn’t make out what was going on, I was cashing my money in the morning and noticed money was disappearing”, explains Kathelene.
She was robbed of almost £2,000 before her carer was eventually caught red handed stealing from her purse. thanks to her friend Monika Caro.
When police informed Kathelene that nothing could be done without proof, Monika stepped in. She recruited a friend, Tim Watson, who has knowledge of filming, to help. He set up a CCTV camera in Kathelene's home and it captured the thief stealing from her handbag on film.
Now, the Minister for Care, Ivan Lewis, has announced plans to review the law to protect older people and has announced that local councils will be obliged to count the number of older people being abused in their areas.
I would love to hear your views. Do you know someone who's been the victim of abuse.
last updated: 03/01/2008 at 12:24