Age UK publish a monthly factsheet of statistics on people in later life living in the UK. The information makes interesting reading and arguably reveals the statistical truth behind getting old today.
For the first time in our country’s history there are 11 million people aged over 65 of whom 3 million are over 80 years old. There are currently more pensioners than there are children under 16, and the number of people aged over 65 years of age is projected to rise by nearly 50% in the next 17 years to over 16 million.
The latest industry survey shows there are 426,000 elderly and disabled people living in nursing homes. And unfortunately many are the victims of abuse at the hands of their carers.
With an aging population it is inevitable that many more elderly people who go into residential care will suffer from pressure sores, malnutrition and physical abuse. Indeed Age UK figures reveal that only 26 per cent of the general public are confident that older people receiving care are treated properly. Regular stories of abuse in the media arguably strengthen this perception.
The care industry is a huge commercial enterprise where the market value for care for older people, including local authority funded, voluntary and private expenditure, is estimated to be worth £22.2 billion.
It is a very difficult and emotional decision to place a loved one in a nursing or care home. It is a decision that is ultimately based on trust that the staff of the nursing home will care for and protect your loved one like you would. It is when that trust is broken and you discover that your relative is the victim of neglect or abuse that you will initially look for help to protect your relative and then seek legal redress.
Instructing a firm of solicitors such as Gotelee is not a step that is taken lightly. For many of the families of the abused elderly the rationale is undoubtedly the same, it is not about obtaining financial compensation for the victim. Indeed it is ironic that any damages may end up being used to pay future care costs. The driving force behind bringing an action against a care home or local authority is to ensure that other elderly people do not themselves become victims of abuse.
With families prepared to take legal action they are helping to ensure that the standard of residential care is properly maintained, not only for those people who require care today, but also those many more of us that will require care in the future.
For advice call James Davies, a specialist elderly abuse Solicitor on 01473 250125. Experienced in elder abuse claims in care and nursing homes, he will be happy to discuss your concerns in a free initial consultation.