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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 19 February, 2019
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Most perpetrators of elder abuse are sons and daughters

Two-thirds of victims are female, while there is a higher abuse rate among the over 80s.

Image: Elder abuse via Shutterstock

THE HSE RECEIVED 2,460 complaints of elder abuse last year, an increase of seven per cent from 2011.

When self-neglect referrals were excluded, there were 1,923 referrals to the HSE and psychological abuse was the most common type at 36 per cent. This was followed by financial abuse at 25 per cent, neglect at 19 per cent and physical abuse at 13 per cent.

Two-thirds of victims were women and there was a higher referral rate among the over 80 years age group compared to 65 to 79-year-olds.

Most perpetrators of abuse are relatives and there was an increase in cases of abusive sons or daughters (46 per cent), while partners or spouses were implicated in 17 per cent of referrals and ‘other’ relatives in 20 per cent of cases.

The public health nursing service is the main source of referrals, with HSE staff and family being the other major sources.

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch with responsibility for Disability, Older People and Equality said the findings of the report are “disturbing”:

There are services available and it is encouraging that a greater number of older people are coming forward each year to voice their concerns. I would urge anyone who is concerned about abuse to seek help.

All referrals of alleged elder abuse are treated in confidence. Anyone who is being abused, or is concerned about abuse, should talk to someone they trust or they can contact the HSE information line on 1850 24 1850.

Read: Call for vigilance as elder abuse in Ireland on the increase>

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Amy Croffey

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