Looking out for older people
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the very best of our communities. We’ve seen thousands of volunteers working to make sure people get the information and help they need, existing groups utilising their strong community links to reach out to those most in need, and a range of new initiatives to connect and support people have been established throughout Wales.
At a very difficult time, seeing such energy and commitment to helping each other, and the difference that can be made when we do, has been uplifting, and I hope that the kind of action we’ve seen is sustained long after the pandemic is over.
But for some members of our community, those experiencing, or at risk of, domestic abuse, the past few months will have been particularly difficult, and we know that many of the usual opportunities to identify potential abuse – through contact with professionals at routine appointments, for example – have been lost, meaning older people could be missing out on crucial help and support, which in some cases could be life-saving.
We also know that criminals are using the current situation to exploit and defraud people and that older people are often targeted specifically by criminals due to their perceived vulnerability. We’re seeing a range of new Covid-19 related crimes and scams – including shopping scams where people order masks or hand sanitiser that never arrive, messages purporting to be from the government that direct people to fake websites, and requests for donations from fake charities – and it’s crucial that we remain vigilant and know what to look out for.
That’s why I’ve brought together an action group of other organisations whose work is focused on protecting and safeguarding older people in Wales – over 20 organisations – to ensure older people can get that help and support they need to keep them safe and protected during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
We want older people to know they are not alone, and that help and support is available.
We recently published a Covid-19 information pack, which includes a wide range of information and advice on how older people can protect themselves from crime, fraud and scams, the kinds of help and support available, and useful contacts.
Older people who need information and advice can also contact my casework team, who can provide help and support on a range of matters. Call 03442 640670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website – www.olderpeoplewales.com – to get in touch with the team.