Residents in South Tyneside are being urged to report any abuse against pensioners.
As part of World Elder Abuse Day, Thursday, June 15, South Tyneside Council is asking people to be on the lookout.
Abuse against older people can take various forms such as physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.
It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.
Abuse can occur in an older person’s own home, in a care home or even at hospital. The people who abuse older people can be a relative, friend or a carer who exploits their position of trust.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing at South Tyneside Council, said: “The World Health Organisation suggests that between four and six per cent of older people have experienced some form of abuse, but much goes on unreported. This is predicted to rise as the ageing population continues to grow.
“Elder abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long term psychological consequences which is why spotting the signs early is so crucial.”
Coun Dixon added: “More than half of all reported cases of elder abuse are neglect or abandonment and this can sometimes be because family members or friends may not recognise that an older person is not taking care of themselves.
“Older people deserve dignity and respect. Self-neglect can be a sign of depression, grief, dementia or other medical issues. The worst thing anyone can do is nothing. I would encourage anyone worried about an older person to get in touch and share their concerns.”
More information, including how to report abuse, is available at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/35879/Worried-about-an-adult.