Peter is in his mid-seventies and has cognitive impairment and physical disabilities. Peter had become bed-bound and now relies on his son, Felix, to do his shopping and pay his bills.

Peter had informed his social worker that Felix had been taking money from Peter’s bank account for his own use without Peter’s permission. The social worker had also received reports from Peter’s carers to say that Peter’s shopping had not been done.

Peter’s social worker recognised that Peter was experiencing financial abuse and raised a safeguarding alert. Peter’s social worker contacted POhWER to ask for an advocate to support Peter regarding the safeguarding issue that had been raised and to find out how Peter wanted the matter to be resolved.

Moira, a POhWER advocate, spoke to Peter’s social worker on the phone to find out how Peter likes to communicate and if he would need any adaptations to make things more accessible for him. The social worker explained that Peter had limited vocabulary, and it would be best for her to use short sentences and avoid using jargon. The social worker also explained that Peter had been assessed as having capacity to make his own decision but would need support to articulate his wishes.

Moira met with Peter and explained the advocate role. She then asked him about his finances. Peter told her that he was not able to move around anymore and so he had to have help from others to do most things. He said his carers did a good job of looking after him and he had been relying on his son, Felix, to go to the bank for him to withdraw money and to do his shopping for him each week. Felix used to be reliable and trustworthy, but lately things seemed to have changed and Felix was no longer coming round regularly to bring shopping. Also, Felix had started taking money out of Peter’s bank account and buying things for himself rather than the things Peter needed. Peter was very upset by this and wanted someone else to support him, but he didn’t have any other family who lived in the area.

Moira told Peter about the local council’s Client Money Management team who could manage his finances going forward. Peter said he would like to know more about this. Moira gave Peter a leaflet about the service which explained things in simple terms. Peter took time to consider this. Moira visited Peter again and he told her that he wanted the council to look after his money from now on, so that his money would be safe and only used for the things he needed or wanted. He also said that he wanted Felix to no longer have access to his bank account.

Moira passed Peter’s wishes on to the social worker and Peter was then referred to the council’s Client Money Management team to action Peter’s wishes and ensure that Peter’s finances are safeguarded.

Peter was grateful for Moira’s support and pleased that his wishes were acted upon.