Safeguarding Handbook

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Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

Physical

Physical injuries can occur where there is no satisfactory explanation, definite knowledge, or a reasonable suspicion that injury was inflicted with intent, caused through lack of care by the person having custody, charge or care of that person.  POTENTIAL INDICATORS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE

The following list may be indicators of many different problems, it is important not to jump to the wrong conclusion too quickly, some of the indicators could be as follows: • History of unexplained falls

• Unexplained bruising - in well protected areas or soft parts of the body • Bruising in different stages of healing
• Unexplained burns - unusual location / type
• Unexplained fractures to any part of the body
• Unexplained lacerations or abrasions
• Slap, kick, punch or finger marks
• Injury shape similar to an object
• Untreated medical problems
• Weight loss due to malnutrition or dehydration

Sexual

Sexual abuse is the involvement of vulnerable adults in sexual activities, which they do not fully comprehend, to which they are unable to give consent, either verbally or by their behaviour, to which they object or which may cause them harm. POTENTIAL INDICATORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

The following list may be indicators of many different problems - it is important not to jump to conclusions too quickly, some of the indicators could be as follows: • Sudden change in behaviour

• Sudden onset of confusion
• Incontinence
• Withdrawal
• Overt sexual behaviour / language by the vulnerable adult • Self inflicted injury
• Disturbed sleep pattern / poor concentration
• Difficulty in walking
• Torn, stained underwear
• Love bites
• Pain or itching, bruising or bleeding in the genital area • Sexually transmitted disease / urinary tract / vaginal infection • Bruising to upper thighs and arms
• Frequent infection
• Severe upset or agitation when being bathed etc.
• Pregnancy in a person unable to consent

Emotional

 This can include intimidation, humiliation, shouting, swearing, emotional blackmail and denial of basic human rights.  Using racist language, preventing someone from enjoying activities or meeting friends. POTENTIAL INDICATORS OF EMOTIONAL / PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE

The following may be indicators of many different problems, it is important not to jump to the wrong conclusions too quickly. • Ambivalence about carer
• Fearfulness, avoiding eye contact, flinching on approach • Deference
• Insomnia or need for excessive sleep
• Change in appetite
• Unusual weight loss / gain
• Tearfulness
• Unexplained paranoia
• Low self esteem
• Confusion, agitation
• Possible violation of human and civil rights
• Distress caused by being locked in a home or car etc. • Isolation - no visitors or phone calls allowed
• Restricted access to hygiene facilities
• Lack of personal respect
• Lack of recognition of individuals rights
• Carer does not offer personal hygiene, medical care, regular food/drinks • Use of furniture to restrict movement

Financial

Financial or material abuse can take the form of fraud, theft or using of the vulnerable adults property without their permission.  This could involve large sums of money or just small amounts from a pension or allowance each week. POTENTIAL INDICATORS OF FINANCIAL / MATERIAL ABUSE

It is important not to jump to the wrong conclusions too quickly, however the following is a list of possible indicators of financial abuse: • Sudden inability to pay bills
• Sudden withdrawal of money from an account
• Person lacks belongings that they can clearly afford • Lack of receptivity by the persons relatives to necessary expenditure • Power of attorney obtained when the person is unable to understand what they are signing •...
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