Accommodation and support for older people experiencing abuse

Making the case for change

Thousands of older people in Wales are experiencing domestic abuse. During the pandemic and its restrictions on everyday life, the opportunities to identify older people at risk of or experiencing abuse have fallen. At the same time, the restrictions may have exacerbated existing abusive situations or led to new ones.

In order to protect older people and ensure access to the right support services the Commissioner established an Abuse Action Group1 at the beginning of the pandemic. This group, now numbering over 30 organisations, is working collaboratively and with great commitment to raise awareness of what older people can do to keep themselves safe and protected, promote the importance of the role we can all play in protecting older people, and promote the services and support available to help older people.

The core message of the Group to older people is ‘you are not alone’.

Through the Action Group’s work, the issue of the lack of accommodation and support for those needing to leave abusive relationships became apparent. In order to better understand the current situation and identify ways to improve it, a survey of Directors of Social Services was undertaken, and an online workshop event was held on 4th November to provide an opportunity to share information and discuss the way forward.

The event was chaired by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots, and was held under Chatham House rules (a list of attendees is set out in the appendix). The event was also attended by the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan MS, and we are grateful to her for addressing the event and supporting this work.

This report summarises key points from the event, provides additional context and sets out the next steps.

Click here to download the report