AM backs new laws to fight abuse of elderly

A SWANSEA-BASED AM has supported calls for new laws helping protect elderly people from abuse.

Liberal Democrat AM for South Wales West Peter Black has signed up to Age Cymru’s Rule Out Abuse campaign, which is calling for a new law to make sure tackling elder abuse is treated with the priority it deserves.

Mr Black said: “Age Cymru say that Wales has the highest prevalence of elder abuse in the UK with a rate of six per cent.

“Based on population estimates, this could equate to more than 6,000 older people who are being abused in their own home in our region alone, and as many as 39,000 in Wales as a whole.

“No-one should have to endure abuse, and more can be done to make sure people are supported and protected against harm.”

He said he was delighted the upcoming Social Services and Well-being Bill would place key legal duties on local authorities, the health service and the police to protect at-risk adults.

Mr Black also said he felt the legislation should also include a duty to consider provision of independent advocates for adults at risk.

“Independent advocacy services play a vital role in supporting people who have been or are being abused by empowering them to express their views and exercise their rights,” he said.

“Adults at risk often have no one to support them to exercise their rights and to make informed choices.

“Independent advocacy can provide people with a stronger voice and real control.”