If you’re living with abuse this Christmas, please remember: You are not alone – help and support is available
Christmas may be a particularly difficult time if you are an older person living with abuse, but please remember you are not alone – help and support is available.
That’s the message from an action group of over 30 organisations who have been working together throughout the pandemic to ensure that older people are safeguarded and protected.
Group members are urging older people who are experiencing abuse, or are concerned that they may be at risk, not to suffer in silence this Christmas and to seek help and support, which in some cases could be life-saving.
Services such as the Live Fear Free Helpline will be available throughout Christmas, offering help and support to older people 24 hours a day, by phone, email, text or instant message.
They also want to highlight the role we can all play on protecting older people this Christmas, by looking out for signs that someone is experiencing or at risk of abuse.
These could include physical signs (such as unexplained bruising or injuries), changes in behaviour, or changes in contact with family and friends, including by social media.
Anyone who is concerned about an older person should contact their council’s safeguarding team or call the police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency).
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“This will be an unusual Christmas for us all, but it will be particularly difficult for older people who are experiencing abuse.
“We know that seeking help may be incredibly hard, but it’s crucial that older people don’t suffer in silence and get the support they need to keep them safe. We want people to know they are not alone – help is available.
“We must also remember the role we can all play in protecting older people this Christmas, by keeping an eye out for any signs that someone may be experiencing or at risk of abuse and reporting any concerns they have to their local safeguarding team or the police.”
Ann Williams, Live Fear Free Helpline Manager, said:
“We would like to reiterate anyone who’s looking for support over the Christmas and New Year period that it will be very much business as usual at the Helpline. There will be someone available to listen and support victims, concerned friends and family and professionals 24/7.
“Please be assured that no one has to suffer in silence-please reach out for help.”
Live Fear Free Helpline:
Tel: 0808 80 10 800
Text: 07860 007733
A live messaging service is also available via the Live Fear Free website: https://gov.wales/live-fear-free