Who are we?
At Hourglass (previously known as Action on Elder Abuse), we have worked tirelessly for the last 30 years to support older people experiencing abuse, harm, and neglect.
We are here to protect our mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends in their older years. No older person should ever have to experience abuse and certainly never have to experience it alone.
We are advocates for the older generation, campaigning and lobbying to ensure they can live happily and securely. We will not rest until the abuse of older people no longer exists.
What is the Abuse of Older People?
There are five main types of abuse: physical, financial, psychological, sexual and neglect.
We estimate that every year, more than a million older people are harmed or abused in the UK, which is a heart-breaking number of people.
What is our Project?
We run a Safer Ageing Helpline, where anyone experiencing abuse or thinks a loved one may be harmed or neglected, can call us for advice and guidance.
Currently, we operate 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday, but we need to change that. We want to be the UK's first, and only, 24-hour Safer Ageing Helpline. Our primary service is a free-phone number 0808 808 8141 where anyone experiencing abuse, or who believes someone they know is experiencing abuse, can call and get specialist, tailored advice. Our hardworking team of staff and volunteers take calls on all various forms of abuse and provide guidance on how to prevent and stop the abuse.
Why we need your support!
Last year we were unable to answer a significant number of calls, as we were busy helping other people, or we were closed, and we know that abuse can happen at any time of day.
We need to open our service longer and we need to be able to support everyone who reaches out to us.
That’s why we need your help!
We need to raise money to employ an Out-of-Hours Information Officer to help the elderly people calling us. It is incredibly brave for someone to muster up the courage to call us, so we can only imagine how difficult it must be when they can’t speak to someone. We don’t ever want this to prevent someone contacting us, so it’s essential to make our service available 24/7.
Impact of Coronavirus
We are proud of our history and services and we want to continue supporting those who need us, especially during this frightening pandemic. Coronavirus and lockdown have had the biggest impact on the over 70s, with their self-isolation being the strictest and the longest. We know this is having a devastating impact on their wellbeing as they’re feeling lonely and cut off from family and friends. Unfortunately, we’ve noticed that this goes hand in hand with an increase in abuse and neglect. Calls to us have increased by 21% compared to the same time last year…that is deeply upsetting.
The Coronavirus Pandemic is hard on all of us, but it especially hard on the older people experiencing abuse.
Betty who was 82 years old, called the Hourglass Helpline because she was repeatedly slapped and abused by a volunteer visitor to her home. The perpetrator was also taking her money. Betty who was vulnerable, was frightened and depressed, and beginning to get into debt which left her with only partial heating and food. This had been happening for some months and Betty didn’t know where to go for help. She was told about Hourglass by one of her friends and called the Hourglass Helpline. Our Helpline staff listened to her story and reassured her that Hourglass would help and arranged for adult protection services to intervene. We then kept in touch with her throughout the process, ensuring she knew what was happening and reassuring her that she would be safe. We liaised with the relevant statutory bodies throughout and the volunteer visitor was eventually arrested & charged ending Betty’s nightmare. Betty told us, “No one else would listen to me, they all thought it was just me telling stories and I felt so alone. Hourglass believed me and gave me the courage to stop what was happening. Without you I don’t know what I would have done. Thank you”