Safeguarding adults involves working together to stop the abuse or neglect of adults who are unable to protect themselves and making sure the adult’s wellbeing is supported by considering their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs.

Everybody has the right to:

  • a life free from fear
  • be treated with dignity
  • have their choices respected
  • not be forced to do things against their will

Examples of abuse and neglect

Abuse and neglect can include:

  • physical abuse
  • psychological abuse
  • neglect (sometimes self-neglect)
  • sexual abuse or exploitation
  • financial or material abuse
  • disability hate crime
  • discriminatory abuse (for example on the grounds of age or sexual orientation)
  • domestic abuse
  • organisational abuse (when people are abused by an organisation, such as a care home)
  • human trafficking and modern slavery
  • female genital mutilation
  • inappropriate use of restraint or physical interventions

Signs of abuse or neglect

If a person is suffering from abuse or neglect there can be signs in their appearance, manner or routines. They are usually changes that are not normal for that person. Other signs might include:

  • not having enough money to pay bills and buy shopping
  • becoming isolated, withdrawn and secretive
  • unexplained injuries
  • unexplained weight loss
  • they seem more anxious than usual or on edge
  • loss of self-esteem
  • malnutrition, ulcers, bedsores being left in wet clothing
  • becoming aggressive