The Adult Support and Protection Act became law in Scotland in 2007. The law provides powers and duties for local authorities to investigate where they hear that an adult might be at risk and to support adults who are at risk of harm. People who can be helped using this Act must meet the following three criteria:
However, even if a person does not meet the criteria, they will be offered advice or assistance by the local authority. What does Harm mean?
Harm can be anything that has a negative impact on a person and the way that they wish to live. It may mean that someone is abusing the person, that they are being neglected or that they are neglecting their own wellbeing. Harm can happen at home, in a care home or a hospital or in the local community.
Financial harm is where a person’s money or property is taken away by another person. Often those causing financial harm are family or friends of the person. However, there are criminals who target groups of people via mail and telephone scams along with bogus workmen.
Physical harm is where a person is hit, slapped or subject to assault by any means that injures or hurts them.
Sexual harm may involve sexual assault or rape. Very old people and disabled people can be subject to such abuse although the general public would not like to think that this happens.
Psychological harm is where a person is threatened; emotional pressure is applied; affection denied or made conditional. It is often difficult to detect.
Neglect can involve not providing food, warmth, access to medication or medical care. It may be because the person’s changing needs have not been taken proper account of.
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