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10pc rise in reports of elder abuse

PEOPLE who are over the age of 80 are three times more likely to experience abuse than other elderly age groups, it emerged yesterday.

The details of such vulnerable people being preyed upon were revealed by the Health Service Executive (HSE), which received 2,110 referrals of elder abuse in 2010, an increase of 10pc on the previous year.

Psychological and financial abuse, along with neglect, were the most common forms of abuse reported.

While the majority of reports involved one form of alleged abuse, one in four people were victims of two kinds of harmful behaviour.

Women were twice as likely to suffer abuse as men, while close family members such as a son, daughter or spouse were the most common perpetrators.

Details of the referrals were revealed at a conference organised by the HSE in University College Dublin yesterday to mark World Elder Abuse Day.

In keeping with other years the public health nurse was the main source of referral, with other HSE staff and extended family emerging as whistleblowers.

Irish Independent