Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007
The Act defines adults at risk as those aged 16 years and over who:
- are unable to safeguard their own wellbeing, property, rights or other interests
- and are at risk of harm
- and because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, are more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected
It places a duty on local councils to inquire and investigate cases where harm is known or suspected.
They have powers to visit and interview people, arrange medical examinations, examine records, and issue protection orders. They must also consider if there is any need for advocacy and other services, such as help with medication, or support services.
Older men and women can also be at risk of harm, but older people are among the least likely to report it.
Many people don't realise the different forms harm can take or how to access the range of help and support available. Harm may include:
- physical harm
- psychological harm
- financial harm
- sexual harm
Harm can occur anywhere, and the person causing harm may be a stranger or may be known to the person being harmed. They may be a relative, a friend, a volunteer or a professional.
If you are being harmed or suspect that someone you know is being harmed, it's very important to talk through your concerns with someone who is trained to listen and can offer you emotional support and appropriate information.
There are lots of places to access advice and help, including your local council's social care department.
You should also make sure that if the person's been involved in caring, and was paid for this, that abuse is reported to the police and Disclosure Scotland.
The information was last updated on: 30th April 2018