Almost one in 10 older people have told a nationwide poll that they have suffered abuse.
The Action on Elder Abuse research revealed that almost 10% of people aged over 65, equivalent to one million people, had experienced abuse of some kind.
Action on Elder Abuse’s Chief Executive, Gary FitzGerald, said: “This poll confirms that elder abuse in the UK is a major issue, and requires radical action if we are to prevent thousands of our loved ones from continuing to suffer appalling treatment.
“The criminal justice system is failing to deter abusers, too many care providers provide neglectful care, and the adult protection process often fails to protect. Governments cannot continue to claim they are doing enough.”
The charity’s chief executive called on crimes against older people to be prosecuted as an aggravated offence in recognition of the fact that older people are specifically targeted because of their vulnerability and because they often suffer more in the aftermath of these crimes.
Three quarters of people are in favour of some sort of monitoring to safeguard care residents, according to research commissioned by camera and audio technology specialist Care Protect.
Philip Scott, founder of Care Protect, said: “At a time when many care providers are suffering significant financial constraints and the media are regularly highlighting issues of abuse and poor care standards, this research demonstrates the public support for innovative solutions.
“This is demonstrably working in practice. Care homes using events only camera surveillance technology have reported a significant increase in occupancy and improvement in care standards.
“The care industry can no longer bury its head in the sand about what is happening as even in the best homes, individual cases of poor care delivery can occur.”