Adult Safeguarding is the area of work that is undertaken by agencies to try to prevent harm and exploitation of adults who may be unable to safeguard themselves and to respond to it when it occurs.
Who are ‘adults in need of safeguarding’?
Some people aged 18 years or over may be unable to safeguard themselves from harm or from being exploited because they have a mental health problem (including dementia), a learning or physical disability, a sensory impairment, are older and frail, or have some form of illness or long-term condition.
How can I tell if an adult is being harmed or exploited?
Harm and exploitation may consist of:
Physical harm, including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions;
Sexual harm, including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented, or could not consent to or was pressured into consenting to;
Psychological harm, including threats of physical hurt or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, over-controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, and isolation;
Financial or material exploitation, including theft, fraud, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions, benefits, or direct payments;
Neglect and acts of omission, including ignoring medical or physical care needs; failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services; the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating;
Discrimination, including racist, sexist, and that based on a person’s disability, and any other forms of related harassment;
Institutional abuse, including situations where a person is not allowed to participate in their own care of make choices for themselves.
Harm and exploitation can occur anywhere, for example:
In care homes
In day centres
In hospitals or health centres/surgeries
Public places or in the community