Anyone can be mistreated, exploited or abused at some time in their lives but some people are particularly prone to these things because they are seen as being easy to take advantage of. This may be because they are aged, confused, have learning disabilities, physical impairments, mental health issues, poor mobility or a degree of deafness or blindness. Similarly, people or groups who are in a minority because of their appearance, behaviour or beliefs, can attract harassment and antisocial behaviour.
We don't have to be unscrupulous to mistreat the more vulnerable members of our society. Simple failure to acknowledge people as individuals or to recognise their past and present contribution to family and society is seriously disrespectful and can lead to a breach of human rights, particularly when they are in need of support; whether it be in group or independent accommodation, being treated as a less than whole person can have seriously detrimental consequences for their health, independence and wellbeing. Similarly, failure to recognise care needs is neglectful, albeit unintentional perhaps, and deliberately depriving someone of care identified as a need, is neglect.
Many people with care or support needs have family members or intimate partners involved in meeting those needs. Where there is a care support element to the relationship, this can change the balance of power; shifting control and making either party particularly vulnerable to the risk of abuse or neglect by the other.
To be able to avoid harm or neglect, you need to: