The Five Principles at the Core of Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

The Five Principles at the Core of Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

The world is facing the prospect of a sharp increase in the number of elderly, sick adults in the coming years. This trend has caused an increase in demand for well-trained care providers to look after them. If you are interested in joining their ranks, begin by identifying the best safeguarding vulnerable adults training courses.

To provide the best care for vulnerable adults, you need to master a set of principles. These are at the core of the best safeguarding vulnerable adults training courses

Here are they:

– Protection

– Empowerment

– Accountability

– Proportionality

– Partnership

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these principles:


By describing this group of adults as vulnerable, one automatically implies their need for protection. It also implies that adults in this group don’t always have the means to fend off dangers to their wellbeing. This is why the person or organization rising to the occasion to protect them must do so deliberately and intentionally. 

Each elderly person will have different concerns about their safety and wellbeing. These may stem from their situation in life or it is specific to their environment. The person or organization proffering protection must identify all the possible threats before extending a hand of help. 

Older people are especially vulnerable to both physical and verbal abuse. Caregivers and nurses require special training to identify symptoms of such abuse and neglect. They should then provide detailed documentation of the happenings to aid in intervention measures such as criminal prosecution of perpetrators. 


Caregivers and institutions charged with safeguarding the rights of vulnerable adults often make a serious error of judgment. This is assuming that vulnerable adults are incapable of taking destiny in their hands and make their own decisions. This view can exacerbate the vulnerability of the adults instead of addressing the real problem. 

To empower vulnerable adults, caregivers and rights organizations should first educate them on their rights. These include the right to provide consent in their living arrangements and even the kind of medical care they receive. The vulnerable adults must get that information in a language and terms they can understand too. 

A caregiver providing information to help a vulnerable adult make decision trends a careful line. On one hand, they must provide information in clear terms as possible, outlining the merits and demerits of each option. On the other hand, they must not push the vulnerable adult to make the decision one way or the other. 


Anyone who is involved in any aspect of interacting with and caring for vulnerable adults has an onus to accountability. Safeguarding the rights of those who are at the most vulnerable stage in life is the responsibility of everyone. This principle includes the onus to notice any risks that may impede the rights of the vulnerable. 

There is a widespread assumption that the only people with a responsibility to ensure the rights of vulnerable adults are caregivers. This misconception is a direct cause of the increase in cases of abuse and neglect.  

When those who are close to vulnerable adults shirk their responsibility to accountability, negative consequences arise. In this sense, the obligation rests on friends, relatives, doctors, and even neighbors to take responsibility. Being sensitive and making appropriate inquiries can avert many disastrous consequences. 


Ensuring proper and effective care for vulnerable adults is mostly a matter of striking the right balance. This means those charged with making the decisions about what is right for vulnerable adults’ wellbeing must be judicious. Failure to be circumspect could be the genesis of another crisis. 

If the evidence of neglect, abuse or safety lapses is compelling, a decision about intervention is necessary. However, there must be an understanding that a too disruptive intervention is counterproductive. The caregiver needs to establish whether involving the police makes sense or whether they should take a less severe intervention. 

Vulnerable adults often have well-established routines and rituals. They love keeping to the familiar and having guarantees about what will happen next. A drastic interruption can lead to mental and even physical health issues. 


Caregivers must never seek confrontation when dealing with cases of vulnerable adults. Even when there is an appearance of compelling evidence of neglect or abuse, violent language or actions are ill-advised. 

The best consequences for vulnerable adults can only ensue in an atmosphere of collaboration with the community and other stakeholders. Sometimes this involves sharing information with other organizations and agencies. Such information must not include any sensitive but unnecessary details that the vulnerable adult gave to the caregiver in confidence. 

To ensure productive partnerships, caregivers must reach out often and deliberately. Posters and information leaflets are effective tools in disseminating such information. 

Advocating for vulnerable adults in society is an admirable calling in life. It is a practical way to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people often found at the periphery.  To be equipped with the right skills though, you need to undergo training as a caregiver for vulnerable adults. 


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