From next year the national data collection on domestic abuse will, for the first time, include those aged 75 and over.
This comes after Age UK revealed that more than 80,000 older people aged 60 to 74 have suffered from domestic abuse since November 2019.
The charity welcomed the news, adding that it is an important step towards making our society a safer and more supportive one for very old people who experience domestic abuse.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said: ‘Domestic abuse affects people of all ages so it’s high time that the oldest victims are recognised and brought in from the cold in this way.
‘What gets measured gets done’ they say, so this shift offers the hope that in future, services to prevent domestic abuse and help its victims will become much more sensitive to the needs of very old people.
‘It also opens up opportunities to raise the awareness of professionals who are well placed to identify older people who may be affected by domestic abuse, such as hospital doctors and nurses.
‘Sometimes, for example, domestic abuse first comes to notice when an older person is admitted to hospital, and it becomes clear they are frightened to go home.
‘We look forward to working with the Office for National Statistics to help design research approaches that effectively capture the experiences of 75s and over and enable their voices to be heard.
‘Many of us will find it rather extraordinary that until now, there has been a cut off at age 74 for collecting data on experiences of domestic abuse. Arbitrary age limits are by definition ageist and have no place in the modern world, but better late than never and it’s good that this one is going now.’
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