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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Abuse - Article 7 - Physical Abuse

Physical Abuse is any act(s) of violence or rough treatment causing injury or physical discomfort. The non-accidental use of physical force to coerce or to inflict bodily harm. It often causes physical discomfort, pain or injury, but the person doesn't have to have an injury to have experienced physical abuse.

Physical abuse may include, for example:

  • Beating  the person
  • Punching
  • Burning or scalding
  • Pushing or shoving
  • Hitting with a hand or instrument or slapping
  • Rough handling  or physical coercion
  • Stabbing
  • Tripping
  • Spitting
Physical abuse against older adults may also include:

  • Tying them to furniture
  • Using or misusing physical restraints
  • Restraining them through the use of alcohol, tranquillizers or other medication*
  • Forcing them to remain in beds or chairs
  • Forcing them to remain in rooms (including locking them in)
If you recognize any of these indicators that are unexplained by the adult then you need to ACT!

If for example you were to accidentally or unintentionally trip a person in your care, this is not abuse unless you do not report it or record the incident in an accident/incident report.  Failure to provide help or medical assistance would also constitute as abuse.

Everyone has the right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

Abuse and neglect can occur anywhere: in your own home or a public place, while you are in hospital or attending a day centre, or in a college or care home.

You may be living alone or with others. The person causing the harm may be a stranger to you, but more often than not the person is known, and it can be the case that you usually feel safe with them. They are usually in a position of trust and power, such as a health and care professional, relative or neighbour. 

Who to talk to if you feel you are being abused or neglected:
  • Don't worry about making a fuss – tell someone you trust as soon as possible.
  • Speak to friends or careworkers, who may have an understanding of the situation and be able to take steps quickly to improve the situation. 
  • You can also talk to professionals such as your GP or social worker about your concerns, or you could ask to speak to your local council's Adult Safeguarding team or co-ordinator.
  • Call Action on Elder Abuse 0808 808 8141 for advice.
  • If you believe a crime is being, or has been, committed – whether it's physical abuse or financial – talk to the police or ask someone you trust to do so on your behalf.
 Possible indicators of physical abuse

  • No explanation for injuries or inconsistency with the account of what happened
  • Injuries are inconsistent with the person’s lifestyle
  • Bruising, cuts, welts, burns and/or marks on the body or loss of hair in clumps
  • Frequent injuries
  • Unexplained falls
  • Subdued or changed behaviour in the presence of a particular person
  • Signs of malnutrition
  • Failure to seek medical treatment or frequent changes of GP

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