Stay Safe for Older People: launch of ‘go-to’ online resource for older people and their carers
New portal and Facebook group provides comprehensive information and expert advice to guard against preventable accidents and scams
Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, 1st October 2018: Today, the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, saw the launch of a vital new initiative, Stay Safe for Older People, to help older people lead healthy and independent lives.
The Stay Safe for Older People (www.staysafe.support) portal is a free information and resource website signposting older people and their family, friends and carers, to the wealth of available expert advice and support – ranging from safety in the home to avoidance of scams – under one easy to use umbrella site. It brings together materials and guidance from key organisations and experts to make it easier for older people and those who care for them to access vital knowledge when they need it, helping to ensure their safety and wellbeing and ultimately avoid hospital admissions arising from preventable accidents.
The site covers topics ranging from accident prevention and keeping your home environment safe, to managing medication and first aid through to frauds, scams, hoaxes and hoarding – with contributions from relevant experts including RoSPA, Age UK, academics, Trading Standards Scams and Fraud and other supporting organisations.
The portal is supported by the Stay Safe Community Facebook group which allows users to access key experts directly to ask them for advice as well as offering a discussion forum for sharing experiences and useful information. This also serves to inform the dynamic, organic development of content for the main portal through crowdsourcing common issues and problems that Facebook group users are seeking support for.
Carolyn Cripps OBE, co-founder of Stay Safe for Older People said: “having worked with numerous organisations and Executive Committees as trainer and consultant – from the educational committees of the London Home and Water Safety Council, National Home Safety Committee, RoSPA and Age UK – I was well aware of the wealth of expertise available to help older people. However, all these organisations work disparately and Stay Safe for Older People www.staysafe.support has enabled unique co-working sharing and collaboration to bring a holistic outlook to help older people in a way that has hitherto not been possible.
“We sincerely hope that this incredible collaboration will lead to increased awareness of the resources available and consequently a major reduction in victims of frauds, scams and accidents – not only benefitting older people and those who look after them, but also to society, social services and the NHS as a whole.”
Emma Hammett RGN, co-founder, added: “When older people are scammed or have an accident it knocks their confidence and they become vulnerable. They often stop going out, become isolated and frail and too frequently end up in hospital.
“Having looked after older people both in a professional capacity and as a family member people simply don’t know the extent of the information and support available and it is almost impossible to find it. There are loads of incredible organisations working in isolation; our hub uniquely brings them all together in an easily accessible website to signpost older people and those who care for them to the wealth of invaluable information when they need it. Having access to these resources and being properly informed will prevent numerous avoidable accidents and frauds occurring in the first place, saving the older person and all involved in their care from the utter devastation that can occur when things go wrong.”
This was echoed by Bournemouth University’s Professor Keith Brown, one of the UK’s leading experts on financial scam prevention among vulnerable people, and specifically highlighting the health effects that being a victim of a fraud can have on an older person. He said: “Our research has shown the impact of being scammed can have devastating effects not only on the individual’s confidence and independence, but their family and communities, the health service and society as a whole. Often the fraud is the catalyst and can often result in the victim requiring residential care or admission to hospital. This is why I fully endorse the vital support offered by Stay Safe for Older People empowering people with resources and information to help them feel safe, supported and able to cope.”
Also in attendance at the launch were representatives from a host of supporting charities and organisations from across the age sector as well as well as community networks trade bodies, and the local council including: RoSPA, Age UK, Women’s Institute, Royal Voluntary Service, Contact The Elderly, The Silver Line, Trading Standards Scams and Fraud team, Electrical Safety, HSE and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.
Elsewhere, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Matthew Ryder, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement underlined the broader contribution initiatives such as Stay Safe for Older People can make towards the creation of age-friendly cities. Speaking at the launch, Matthew Ryder said: “The Mayor and I are committed to making London a fairer and more inclusive city and that includes celebrating the significant contribution that older Londoners make to our capital. I am proud that London has signed up to the World Health Organisation’s global network of age-friendly cities and we are determined to help make London a dementia friendly city by 2020.
“Stay Safe supports our mission to make London a city where everyone can thrive and focuses our attention on improving the lives of older Londoners by providing support, interactive workshops and of course, Stay Safe Week.”
During Stay Safe Week, Age UK and other organisations will be hosting further information and education sessions throughout the UK. The week is supported across social media using #staysafe.
For further information or to request images please contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 8675 4036. Spokespeople and case studies available for interview.
Notes to Editors
- Stay Safe for Older Peoplewas founded by Emma Hammett RGN (First Aid for Life) and Carolyn Cripps OBE (Fit for Safety) in partnership with RoSPA, AGE UK and the Trading Standards Scams and Fraud team.
- Emma Hammett RGN, founder of First Aid for Lifeand com,is an award-winning health and first aid educator, press spokesperson and author with over 30 years’ experience working as a nurse, family carer, home carer, first aider and hospital manager. She knows first-hand how important it is to have easy access to professional, accurate and supportive information when caring for an older person.
Emma has featured on SKY News, Channel 5 News, Victoria Derbyshire, Islam Channel and The One Show. She is also a member of the Guild of Health Writers and writes for The Mail, Huffington Post, BBC, British Journal of School Nursing, British Geriatric Society, British Journal of Family Health, Hippocratic Post and many more. For more details click here. Her award-winning book Slips, Trips and Fractured Hips is endorsed by RoSPA and AGE UK and is heralded as the ultimate guide to accident prevention and first aid in older people.
- Carolyn Cripps OBE is an experienced trainer and consultant in home safety and accident prevention working with government initiatives on major community projects both in the UK and overseas. She has over twenty five years’ experience training both professionals as well as families at grass roots level both writing and developing the training resources and programmes. Carolyn has also worked with RoSPA on the Government “Safe at Home Scheme”. She is a Trustee of Age UK Lambeth bringing her expertise for home injury prevention to the older population. She currently sits on the Executive Committees of the London Home and Water Safety Council and is Vice – Chair of the National Home Safety Committee.
- Stay Safe for Older People’s key partners: Age UK, RoSPA, Trading Standards Scams and Fraud Team. Additional quotes:
“Living longer is good news. RoSPA supports the Stay Safe Initiative to help you enjoy a safe and healthy later life”– Sheila Merrill FRSPH UKPHR RoSPA
“Stay Safe for Older People is a fantastic opportunity to promote practical solutions to protect older people from injuries in the home and keep them safe.” – Joe Oldman, Policy Manager, Age UK
- Key supporters and expert contributors: include Electrical Safety First, Gas Safe, HSE, Women’s Institute, E-Scams, National Fire Chiefs Council Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Matthew Ryder.
- Key stats and facts
Hospital admissions of over 65s due to falls
- The figures: Figures from RoSPA show in 2016-2017 there were 316,669 hospital admissions in England of people 65 and over, due to falling. This is the equivalent of a staggering 867 each day.
- Fatal figures: according to Age UK, falls are the biggest cause of hospital admissions for older people. Recent figures show 4,984 people age 65 and over died from falls, an average of 13 deaths per day.
- The prediction: experts predict that within 2 years almost 1,000 elderly per day will be taken into hospital after suffering a fall.
Scams and fraud among over 65s
- Last year fraudsters scammed nearly 49,000 older people across the UK at roughly the rate of six reports per hour
- The amount of money that pensioners have lost through scams has more than doubled in a year, with the average victim handing £91,000 to fraudster: in 2017 pensioners reported being conned out of £23m, up from £9.2m in 2016
- Age UK reports that 43% of older people – almost five million people aged 65 and over – believe they have been targeted by scammers. Those with dementia are at particular risk
- Only c5% of scams are ever reported
- Further key dates during Stay Safe Week #staysafe:
Wednesday 3rd October: Age UK are holding an educational event for influencers and decision makers at their London HQ.
Friday 5th October: Age UK Lambeth and other regional Age UK’s are holding educational events nationally.