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Elder abuse up 10pc on last year and rising

ELDER abuse in Ireland is on the increase with over 2,000 cases of alleged elder abuse reported to the Health Service Executive in 2010 - ,an increase of 10pc from 2009.

The number of referrals of alleged elder abuse has increased every year since 2008 – when it began collecting data - the HSE said.

Provisional figures for 2011 up to the end of September show that 1,511 cases of alleged elder abuse were referred to the HSE this year.

Of the reported cases 65pc related to women and in 95pc of cases the abuse occurred where the person lived.

The main abuse categories were psychological at 29pc, financial at 20pc, self neglect (17pc) and neglect (16pc).

Most alleged perpetrators were a son or daughter (45pc) with 17pc cited as other relatives and a partner (husband or wife) accounted for 16pc of the alleged cases. Alleged abuse by care staff was 8pc.

Eamon Timmins of Age Action Ireland said people need to be alert to the warning signs of possible abuse.

Consultant in geriatric medicine at Tallaght Hospital Professor Des O'Neill said the real number of cases of alleged abuse is probably closer to 25,000 a year, based on research.