Safeguarding: The definition of a ‘vulnerable adult’

Over the past couple of weeks, I have undertaken safeguarding refresher training sessions with the staff team. I limited the number of people in each training session as it was taking place on Zoom and I wanted to give everyone the chance to contribute.

One comment made by a member of staff was that, before they had their initial safeguarding training, they thought that safeguarding referred to the protection of children. They hadn’t realised that safeguarding was also about the protection of vulnerable adults.

The definition of a ‘vulnerable adult’ is a person aged 18 or over whose ability to protect himself or herself from violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation is significantly impaired through physical or mental disability or illness, old age, emotional fragility or distress, or otherwise; and for that purpose, the reference to being impaired is to being temporarily or indefinitely impaired.

At this time of national lockdown, many of us are experiencing ‘emotional fragility or distress’. For some of us, these feelings can be short lived and for others, these feelings have been going on for some time and may well continue.

The more I have spoken to friends and colleagues over the past few weeks, it is evident that many people are finding this most recent lockdown the most challenging. The what feels like never-ending rain isn’t helping how people are feeling along with many struggling to see a way out of this current lockdown despite the progress of the vaccination programme.

Maybe someone you know is feeling ‘vulnerable’ right now. Maybe you are feeling ‘vulnerable’.

What could you do to help someone else? What could you do to help yourself?

Solent Mind has a really helpful Winter Wellbeing Toolkit on their website available here.

Here is one page that you may find useful: