Identifying And Assisting Vulnerable Adults
When you hear the word “vulnerable adult” the first thing that jumps to mind is old people or people who are incapable of taking care of themselves. You wouldn’t be wrong, but the scope of ‘vulnerable adults’ is far broader and wider than you initially thought.
This article will discuss who exactly classifies as a “vulnerable adult,” how to identify them, and what we can do to protect them from extremely dangerous cases.
Who Is A Vulnerable Adult?
Just like we discussed earlier, not only are older adults considered vulnerable adults, but a much broader scope of people can also be considered vulnerable adults.
Vulnerable adults are typically over 18, who aren’t capable, or unable to provide care for themselves, hence needing a caregiver. Vulnerable adults include sick or frail people, people with mental issues, and physical or functional disabilities.
Vulnerable adults are more likely to be subject to discrimination and abuse. Many studies have pointed out that vulnerable adults are more likely to get abused than other adults. Because they cannot take care of themselves, they are at a greater risk of abuse.
Individuals residing in shelters and accommodations, like care homes, are prime examples of people more likely to be exploited and abused. Reasons such as this are why it is imperative for care homes housing vulnerable adults to have enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service or DBS checks undertaken for each staff member.
In What Way Can Vulnerable Adults Be Abused?
Vulnerable adults are most likely at risk of certain kinds of abuse, like:
- Sexual abuse
- Incitement or encouragement to commit crimes
- Hate crime.
These are some of the most likely ways a vulnerable adult can be abused. It’s common for a vulnerable adult to be abused in multiple ways. An adult can be persuaded into a relationship they could not have consented to and end up with an abusive partner with no way to leave.
How To Spot Abuse in Vulnerable Adults
Abuse of vulnerable adults is not always something you can see, most times, behavioral changes are what give away some helpful information. Like changes in likes and dislikes, being more on guard and tense, and sometimes when they reply with “nothing” when they obviously look disoriented. These are some behavioral signs you can use to spot abuse.
You can spot physical abuse by looking for bruises; although not all bruises are out in the open, you must be vigilant. Asking them about their bruised marks will ultimately lead to them making some intangible excuse, which should be a proper insight for further digging.
Ensuring all shelters and care homes undergo a DBS check and obtaining a DBS certificate for all staff will help eradicate abuse of vulnerable adults.
Preventing Abuse of Vulnerable Adults
The first rule is never to assume abuse can’t happen to an individual just because you think an individual is strong enough. Always make sure you are always listening. Abuse victims always try to communicate some kind of hint if they feel unsafe.
If a loved one is moving to new accommodation, ensure that an enhanced DBS check has been carried out on anybody who will be caring for them to limit the opportunity for abuse. Abusers will typically target socially isolated, so ensure that anybody you believe to be vulnerable remains active and in tune with their surroundings.
Mandatory DBS Checks For Care and Support Workers
As we discussed earlier, care and support workers will require enhanced DBS checks for support workers. This will ultimately help reduce the number of abusers disguising themselves as support workers.
An enhanced DBS check would delve deeper into an applicant’s criminal history, information that might not be disclosed during a regular DBS check.
To find out more about DBS Checks, including how to apply online, get in touch with one of our trusted advisors today.