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Legislation, Policy & Guidance

Scottish Hourglass Manifesto

Lesley Hourglass

Every year, more than a million older people are physically, emotionally, financially or sexually abused in the UK. This is a truly damning indictment of how our society views and values older people. Sadly, the abuse of older people is not a new issue, but one that has now reached a critical threshold that can no longer be ignored, nor tolerated.


In Scotland, we’re leading the way in safeguarding vulnerable older people; with Scotland the only nation in the UK with dedicated adult safeguarding legislation. However, we cannot become complacent. While our safeguarding legislation puts in place a framework for support and protection, it does not tackle the criminal aspects of abuse. We cannot continue with a scenario where the abuse of older people is primarily ‘social worked’ rather than prosecuted – without an effective deterrent, the scourge of the abuse of older people will sadly continue. We therefore need to push for a tougher criminal prosecution framework, as well as ensuring that support and protection is the same for all victims, regardless of who the perpetrator is.  


Time is running out for the very people whose remaining years are so precious. Someone has to take a stand and fight for those whose voices are so often ignored or stifled.


“We are Hourglass – the only UK-wide charity that’s calling time on the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people”


Driven by our values, we’re invested in - and investing in - making a difference. It takes honesty to face up to these challenging issues. It takes a special kind of courage to bear witness to the heart-breaking stories of abuse and neglect we hear every single day. And it takes a dedicated team with nearly 30-years of experience and unique expertise to fight for our most vulnerable, day in and day out.  


This will not be an easy journey. Yet with your support, we will work tirelessly to influence, challenge and educate; listen, advise and support; and will commit to working in partnership to deliver positive change for vulnerable older people and all those affected throughout Scotland and across the UK. We will create an environment where safer ageing is guaranteed for all. Now is the time to join us on this journey to end the abuse, harm and exploitation of older people. In doing so, you are helping us build the fairer and safer society that we all want and deserve.


Lesley Carcary

Director of Hourglass Scotland