Carmarthen conference to focus on abuse against older people

Researchers at the Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth University are calling on people who work with, or support elderly people in Carmarthenshire to contribute to a major study into abuse against older people.
As part of the £1.3m Big Lottery funded study, the team is hosting a free one day conference on Thursday 22nd October at the Halliwell Centre, Carmarthen, entitled Building Justice Options with Older People in Wales.
Anyone interested in issues related to abuse against older people in Carmarthenshire is invited to attend the conference, which will feature keynote speakers Sarah Rochira, Older People’s Commissioner of Wales, and Eleri Butler, CEO of Welsh Women’s Aid.
The study, entitled Choice, is being undertaken by the Centre for the Study of Ageing, Abuse and Neglect at Aberystwyth University’s Department of Law and Criminology.
Choice has been developed to raise awareness about the abuse of older people in their own homes and design and test an entirely new approach based on restorative principles.
Trained justice workers and a facilitator work with older people who have been abused in this way, to explore the range of options (civil, criminal and restorative), to ensure they and their families feel fully informed about the range of opportunities available to them.
The study focuses on two pilot areas in the UK, Carmarthenshire and Cardiff and works in partnership with older people, communities, professionals and trained volunteers.
According to the 2007 Prevalence Study (Department of Health & Comic Relief), elder abuse is happening to thousands of older people in Wales every day, with more than 39,000 older people in Wales per year – a proportionately higher figure than the rest of the UK – estimated to be victims of abuse.
Professor Alan Clarke, Principal Investigator on Choice said: “Significant numbers of older people experience abuse and neglect in their own homes and can be isolated from people who might be able to help them. We need to ensure that those being abused get the help and support they need. Our project is designed to work with older people to explore ways in which service users might best access justice through the courts or by means of restorative approaches.”
“We want to work with local communities in Carmarthenshire to give them a voice and involve them in developing and evaluating new ways of promoting justice and well-being for older people.”

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