The vulnerability of the elderly

12 Nov

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The vulnerability of the elderly


The first thing that I want to say is that most carers are doing a good job, most try really hard and genuinely care about the people they are looking after.  Most paid carers are honest, compassionate and hard working. But…


I’ve considered recently just how incredibly vulnerable the elderly are, especially those with memory issues.  I was sitting in the lounge of a care home listening to a resident call out to a carer or anyone for help and wondered to myself, if she was claiming that no-one was helping her, who would believe her?  Someone did go to her in this case, but it made me wonder.


I’ve had residents claim that money went missing, I had one resident of a care home claim she’d lost £1,000, but as she was never given this much money, it is safe to assume that this didn’t happen, but she did have smaller sums and it is entirely possible that this was stolen, as she would on occasions go out and needed money to do things she wanted to when she went out, but there was no mechanism to deal with the loss of for example £10 and to a carer on minimum wage that could be enough of a temptation.


I’ve had a family member say that when they went to the care home and gave their father a bath, the watch that he had on his wrist didn’t belong to him.  I’ve heard that kind of tale lots of times, that someone with memory problems sees for example a watch and thinks “I have a watch, it must be mine” or something like that and picks it up.  Things go missing, but how do we tell apart the things that are intentionally stolen for personal gain and things that mistakenly go missing.


The Mid Staffordshire scandal in 2009, which was reported upon in the Francis report issued on 6 February 2013 was about the ill treatment and lack of basic care within the hospital, but the fact that this went on for such a long time is testament to how voiceless and disempowered these ill and vulnerable individuals were.


I don’t know the answer, other than to take seriously any allegations and to vet individuals caring for these vulnerable people.  We then take it on faith that they are doing a good job and hope our faith is well placed.  The elderly are very vulnerable and the more that can be done to protect them and other vulnerable groups like them the better.


2 Responses to “The vulnerability of the elderly”

  1. Natalie Fell November 16, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    Hi Hilary,

    I do hope that all is well. Could you alter the email address these are being sent to please?

    New recipient address:

    Kind regards,


    Natalie Fell Business Development Manager E: natalie.fell@select-ho me Care Advice Line: 01626 331133 M: 07713480201

    Select Ho me care & Select L i ving

    20 Courtenay Park Road Newton Abbot Devon TQ12 2HB

    The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you receive this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer. We make every effort to keep our network free from viruses. You should independently check this e-mail and any attachments for viruses, as we can take no responsibility for any computer viruses that might be transferred by way of this e-mail. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of Select Home Care Limited (Registered No. 8688556), trading as “Select Homecare” or Select Living (Devon) Limited (Registered No. 3940629), trading as “Select Living” and both of 20 Courtenay Park Road, Newton Abbot, Devon. TQ12 2HB. Thank you.

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