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MEP welcomes Government report on elder abuse

October 16, 2008 12:20 PM

Liz Lynne, the Liberal Democrat MEP for the West Midlands has said she welcomes the news that the Government is to launch a major review on the protection of elderly people and vulnerable adults from abuse.

The review, which was prompted by calls from leading charity Action on Elder Abuse will examine the need for greater protection for elderly people and ask whether new legislation is needed creating an offence of ill- treating a vulnerable adult.

Elder Abuse is a major problem throughout the EU, with some experts saying that as many as 10% of people over the age of 60 will experience some form of physical or emotional abuse before they die. Shockingly, Action on Elder Abuse have estimated that 67% of this abuse comes from elderly people's own family, friends or neighbours.

Liz Lynne, who is the Vice President of the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee, as well as Co- Chair of the Parliament's All Party Intergroup on Ageing, said that she supports the government's decision to investigate the problem and called for them to work with the rest of Europe to find practical solutions:

"I am very pleased that the Government is finally choosing to focus on halting the horrendous tide of elder abuse that affects almost 500, 000 older men and women in the UK. I very much hope that they will give serious thought to the creation of new offences specifically dealing with those people who choose to harm some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

"I also urge the government to work with other EU Member States to tackle the problem at all levels in order to, most importantly, prevent abuse from happening in the first place.

"Elder Abuse is an affront to the basic human rights of the victim, it is an affront to their dignity and it is an affront to society. It must be stopped. It is absolutely vital that the review the Government is embarking upon leaves no stone unturned, asks the difficult questions and gets the heart of the problem."



In recent years it has emerged that a suspected half a million older people in the UK suffer abuse or neglect and in 80% of cases the abuser is known to the victim.

Liz Lynne was also rapporteur on the 2007 Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion.