We can all help to prevent adult abuse and neglect by supporting the delivery of these key objectives:
1. Improve Public Awareness
This can be achieved by helping to support awareness building campaigns and by signposting adults to appropriate sources of information. One easy way to do this is by following @lewisham_sab on Twitter and supporting the campaigns we deliver.
2. Identify Adults who May be at Increased Risk
There are many factors which might increase the risks of adult abuse and neglect including: older age; physical, mental, sensory, learning or cognitive illness or disability; and having to rely on others for health and social care support.
3. Identifying & Responding Effectively to Abuse
Organisations and individuals working to improve their understanding and early identification of the different types of adult abuse, so that an effective response can be achieved in conjunction with the adults views and wishes.
4. Consistent & Widespread Application of Policies & Procedures
It is important for organisations delivering services to adults to have appropriate policies and procedures which are developed in line with guidance from the Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board, and embedded into the practice of all professionals. See: Pathway Resources
5. Focus on Equality & Narrowing Inequality
Adults from financially deprived backgrounds are more likely to become an ‘identified’ victim of adult abuse and neglect, and it is less likely that an adult from some ethnic minority communities will be engaged with statutory services in Lewisham. All professionals can help to improve reporting and equal access to protective services.
This Government Guidance provides some excellent information and resources to help reduce inequality: Inclusion Health: Applying All Our Health (May 2021)
6. Help Adults to Protect Themselves
Every organisation delivering services to adults at risk of abuse and neglect can identify ways in which they can help to inform, and support adults in protecting themselves from abuse.
7. Provide Information, Advice & Advocacy
Individual organisations will know the communication needs of their client groups, and as such are best placed to provide bespoke adult safeguarding information in the most appropriate formats, methods and languages. See: Pathway Resources
More information on the Statutory Advocacy Provider in Lewisham can be found here: https://www.pohwer.net/lewisham
8. Provide Access to Training & Education
Organisations have a responsibility to provide access to up to date and relevant adult safeguarding training for their staff and volunteers, and additional support for the person (s) responsible for leading on this subject within that agency.
9. Support Broader Wellbeing Strategies
There is a clearly established link between the prevention of adult abuse and broader health and wellbeing strategies, including the reduction of social isolation and loneliness. Organisations can help to engage adults in these type of strategies, which will also indirectly help to prevent adult abuse.
Please let us know if you have any thoughts or ideas in relation to prevention.