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Safeguarding vulnerable older people: a job for life?

Steve Moore (Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Dudley, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 8 August 2016




The purpose of this paper is to present the findings from one component of an empirical, mixed methods research project designed to determine the extent, nature and causes of abuse in contemporary independent sector care homes for older people.


A self-completion, postal questionnaire was used to elicit both numerical and textual data that were subsequently subjected to both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The questionnaire was distributed to newly appointed care staff in five participating care homes to determine the nature of any abuse they may have witnessed in the homes in which they had previously worked.


A significant proportion of respondents described instances of predominantly psychological and physical abuse and neglect and revealed hitherto undisclosed abusive practices.

Research limitations/implications

Though the research draws upon the experiences of only 140 anonymous questionnaire respondents, of whom 94 had witnessed abuse, data suggest abuse continues to occur in some care homes for older people.


The research has revealed staffs’ recent experiences of a range of abusive acts and practices. Findings suggest that changes are required to current methods of external scrutiny and investigation of practices in care homes.



The research project has been funded exclusively by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.


Moore, S. (2016), "Safeguarding vulnerable older people: a job for life?", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 214-228.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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