How do you know if someone is vulnerable?
6 May 2020 by Jane Golding
In our existing day to day lives through the pandemic of Covid-19, vulnerability of a person(s) has increased significantly. Vulnerability in most people will disguise itself in many different ways. But would you know whether someone close and dear to you is vulnerable and needs help?
Sometimes, when we are helping our elderly parents, spouse/civil partner, family or friends we believe we are doing the best for them or others are doing the best for them, but sometimes smoke screens can distort the actual reality of the circumstances happening.
What is classed as vulnerable? Vulnerability has many different types of layers but it would fall into one or more of the following categories.
- Physical – this includes assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, giving the wrong or no medication, restraining someone, or only letting them do certain things.
- Financial – This includes Theft, Fraud, internet scamming, and putting pressure upon someone about their financial arrangements including Wills, Property, Inheritance, or Financial transactions.
- Domestic – This includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional abuse.
- Psychological – This includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, depriving someone of contact with someone else, blaming, controlling, and putting pressure on someone to do something.
- Neglect – This includes ignoring medical, emotional, or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care, and support.
- Self-Neglect – This covers a wide range of behaviour which shows that someone is not caring for their own personal hygiene, health or surroundings, nutrition, and medication. It includes behaviour such as hoarding.
What type of person is likely to be vulnerable?
- Elderly people typically over the age of 75
- Organic brain injury (lower mental function due to illness)
- Cognitive impairment (someone having trouble with memory, thinking skills or making decisions)
- Physical, mental, or emotional dysfunction. Especially depression, recently losing a partner, not having friends or a social network, living alone or not having contact with their children.
There are legal safeguards which can be put in place to help people who require help or who lack mental capacity.
- Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs / Health & Welfare Affairs (if the person does not lack mental capacity)
- Court of Protection (if the person does lack mental capacity)
An application for a Lasting Power of Attorney can take between 8 – 12 weeks to register with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Court of Protection applying for a Deputyship Order usually takes four to six months.
If Fisher Jones Greenwood can assist you with a vulnerable person with an application for Lasting Powers of Attorney or an Application to the Court of Protection, then please contact us on 01206 700113 or email [email protected].