Hourglass calls on the Scottish Government to do better when it comes to safer ageing

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Hourglass is calling on the Scottish Government to do better when it comes to safeguarding and protecting older adults.

This call comes in the face of our policy paper which underlines how poor data collection, abolition of key ministerial posts, slow roll-out of headline initiatives and a lack of core safeguarding strategies is holding Scotland back.

Hourglass recognises that Scotland has been a leader regarding safer ageing both in terms of legislation and attitudes. It was pioneering in 2007 when it was the first nation to give social workers power of entry to investigate suspected abuse of older people. But we believe, as Scotland’s only specialist charity focused on the abuse of older people, that leading role has significantly diminished.

An example of this is the narrow definition of Domestic Abuse in the Scottish legislation which only includes intimate partners and not close family members. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland this definition has been broadened and it is time that Scotland caught up.

Hourglass is currently producing Safer Ageing Indexes for other nations of the UK. These studies assess and compare how well local areas perform in helping people grow old safely. Soon Scotland will be the only nation in the UK without a Safer Ageing Index due to the lack of data collected by Police Scotland and other Government agencies.

The decision earlier this year to abolish the designated ministerial role for older people is further evidence that the Scottish Government is presently focussing their attention away from the protection of older people. It is time for the Scottish Government to refocus their attention to supporting older people in Scotland grow old safely.

SCOTBRIEFScotland: Issues and movements concerning Safer Ageing

This briefing assesses movements, issues, and legislation in Scotland concerning safer ageing and the protection of older people from all forms of harm, violence, abuse, and neglect.

This report includes several recommendations which will help older people in Scotland grow older safety and free of abuse. We hope this or future Scottish Governments will take these recommendations onboard and work on a strategy to keep all older people safe.