Dramatic increase in reports of adults at risk in Aberdeenshire

A new report has highlighted a dramatic escalation in the number of Aberdeenshire adults deemed to be at risk of harm, including a steep rise in those aged over 65.

The biennial study, carried out by Aberdeenshire’s Adult Protection Committee, which was established in 2008, pointed out that over 1600 reports of concern were made in the region – an increase of 155% during the last two years.

It added that 133 adults – those over the age of 16, who were affected by disability, mental disorder, illness, physical or mental informity or who might be harmed by strangers, professionals or family members – were assessed to be at risk of harm in Aberdeenshire.

And more than a third of that figure – 55 people – were over 65.

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s social work and housing committee will meet on Thursday, November 8, to discuss the work being carried out by the local authority, the police, the health service and partners across Aberdeenshire to protect the vulnerable from harm.

But Albert Donald, the convener of Aberdeenshire’s APC, admitted that there remained much to be done, both in terms of informing the public what adult protection means and how to report any concerns they might have. The latter is a key priority in the region.

The report basically spelled out the message that harm may be physical, financial, sexual or psychological and often goes unrecorded.

It concluded that, despite organisations such as Aberdeenshire Council receiving between 30 and 40 reports [of concern] every month, more work is required to tackle these issues, and particularly given the region’s ageing population.

The full report can be accessed at: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apcbiennialreport12