AROUND 10,000 older people are suffering abuse and most of it is going unreported, Junior Health Minister Kathleen Lynch has warned, writes Eilish O'Regan.
She said the HSE received 2,302 reports of elder abuse in 2011 but even this 10pc rise on 2010 disguised the real horror.
Ms Lynch was speaking yesterday at the launch of a new guide, 'Wellbeing and Dignity of Older People' (WeDO), that sets out the protections that should be in place for the elderly.
The WeDO project involves 14 EU countries and comes at a time when people over 65 now account for one in nine of the population.
Ms Lynch said: "The World Health Organisation estimates that elder abuse is under-reported by as much as 80pc."
The WeDO initiative, led by the Third Age group, has created a coalition of organisations in the health, education, research, advocacy, legal and social care areas in Ireland in order to work for the improvement of services and "for a change in culture toward older people in need of care and assistance."