Advice for individuals

EVERYONE has the right to

Everybody has the right to feel safe in their own home. It doesn’t matter what your age is, you have the right to feel safe and make your own decisions, and it is never too late to seek help and support.

If the behaviour of someone close to you is making you feel uncomfortable or causing you distress, there are people you can talk to for support and understanding.

If the behaviour of someone close to you is causing you emotional or physical harm, there are people who can help you get safe and stay safe. 

If someone is controlling your decision making, what you do, where you go, or who you see, there are organisations who can offer support and advice. 

If someone is controlling your finances, taking money or belongings without your permission or denying you access to resources, there is help available to explain and secure your rights.

I might need help

Are you concerned about the behaviour of your:

Partner/s or ex-partner/s, husband, wife, civil-partner;
Family member/s – e.g. son, daughter, son/daughter-in-law, grandchild, brother, sister, parent?

Click the button below for organisations who can offer free confidential help, advice and support.

i am worried about someone else

If you are concerned that an older person you know may be experiencing, or is at risk of harm, including emotional and/or physical, there are some simple steps you can take to offer support and seek help.

should i act?

You may be worried that your concern could be mistaken for interfering in a private family matter or that if someone really wanted help then they would ask for it. However, older people engaging with research at the Centre for Age, Gender and Social Justice have told us that if someone had asked them about what was happening they would have told them. 

You may be the only person the older person has contact with, other than the person who is causing them harm, so you may be the only person they can talk to about what they are experiencing.

Create a safe and private space to have a conversation alone with the older person, where you will not be overheard, and ask: “Is anyone’s behaviour worrying you?”

ask, ask again and keep asking

If on the first occasion you ask, the older person tells you everything is fine and they have no concerns, remember on future occasions to ask again and keep asking.

An older person may not feel ready to tell you the first time, but your question may have made them start to think about seeking help and next time they may be ready.  If you don’t ask again the opportunity may be lost.

use language the older person is comfortable with

Ensure that you use language the older person is comfortable with and be led by the language they use to describe what is happening to them. Reassure them what is happening to them is wrong and it is not their fault. Don’t rush to offer solutions but offer to help them access support and advice.

For an extensive list of organisations who can offer free confidential advice and support follow the button below.