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Dublin: 12°C Sunday 29 May 2022

Vast majority of elderly abuse is carried out by a close friend or family member

A new campaign aims to highlight the financial abuse of the elderly.

Source: Age Action/YouTube

A NEW CAMPAIGN launched today by an elderly advocacy charity highlights the problem of the abuse of the elderly – a problem that affects thousands of people every year.

The campaign by Age Action includes a video that highlights in particular the financial abuse of the elderly, which affected about 500 people in 2014, according to HSE figures.

Financial abuse of the elderly entails withholding or taking money from an elderly person.

Age Action says that the problem is widespread in Ireland and that in the vast majority of cases it is an immediate family member carrying out the abuse.

“Every year, hundreds of older people face demands for money, have their pensions withheld or their possessions taken,” said Justin Moran, head of advocacy at the charity.

To make it worse, in the overwhelming majority of cases of elder abuse, the perpetrators are immediate family members.

The Video

Age Action has been working with Ulster Bank to raise awareness of financial elder abuse and to try to help older people protect themselves.

The work on financial elder abuse is funded by the Ulster Bank Community Impact Fund.

The video was produced by Pink Kong, a Dublin-based animation studio, and explains the specifics and different types of elder financial abuse.

age action elder abuse A shot from the animated awareness video Source: Screengrab

Having less money than expected in a bank account, noticing irregularities in financial statements and noticing money going missing are all touted as possible warning signs toward financial abuse.

People are told to contact a loved one they trust or the HSE’s information line if they are worried about missing money.

“The best way for older people to protect themselves is to be informed, to ensure their friends and family know what warnings signs to watch out for and to act when they suspect elder abuse,” said Moran.

As part of the campaign, 20,000 leaflets will be handed out to community centres and retirement groups around Ireland.

The HSE information line for suspected cases of elderly financial abuse can be reached between 8am and 8pm on 1850 24 1850.

For more information on the campaign visit www.ageaction.ie  

Read: Sons and daughters are the biggest perpetrators of elder abuse

Read: Niece suspected as thousands disappear from pensioner’s account

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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