A care provider is offering a helpline for residents and their relatives so that cases of neglect do not go unnoticed and unreported.
Southern Cross will offer the service in all of its 735 care homes across the UK in a bid to stop residents being mistreated.
It is the first scheme of its kind and trained advisors from the charity Action on Elder Abuse will man the phones to offer advice and support for people with any concerns.
If any cases are reported, the charity does not need to seek permission before alerting authorities to any problems.
Kate Jopling from the charity Help the Aged said: "Elderly abuse is incredibly worrying. It's a serious issue and we need to take it seriously - all too often people fear reprisals if they report their concerns."
Southern Cross said the £20,000 running costs is a good investment if it provides protection and better care for its residents.
Kamma Foulkes, chief operating officer with the company, said: "We have a duty of care to do whatever we can to eliminate abuse in our care homes.
"It's about giving them confidence and letting people know what they deserve in terms of care and respect."
Copyright © Press Association 2009
Rachelle Mahapatra from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This is a good first stop in reducing abuse of old people. The difficulty is with patients who cannot communicate due to mental and physical illness and needs to be part of a system to try to reduce neglect and abuse of the elderly".
If you'd like to discuss making a claim as the result of a loved one suffering abuse or neglect whilst in a care, contact our care & nursing home solicitors. Alternatively visit our Elder Abuse Compensation Claims page for more information.