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HSE figures prove need for investment in elder abuse services

Published 18/06/2015

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Age Action has responded to today’s publication by the HSE of its Review of Elder Abuse Services for 2014. The HSE revealed that in 2014 the service received the largest number of referrals of abuse cases since it was established.

Read: HSE Review of Elder Abuse Services for 2014

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action, said: “Last year the HSE received a record number of referrals to their elder abuse service. 

“Elder abuse is a widespread, but hidden problem in Ireland. Today’s figures show that more older people are having the courage to take steps to tackle this abuse and this must be warmly welcomed.

“But these figures drive home the urgency of the problem. Every day there are an average of eight cases of abuse reported to the HSE. Tragically, in the vast majority of cases, those abusing older people are immediate family members.

“Minister Leo Varadkar must look at expanding the elder abuse service provided by the HSE, putting more dedicated case workers in place to assist vulnerable older people.”

Bank survey

Earlier this week, on Monday 15 June – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – Age Action published the findings of a survey jointly conducted with Ulster Bank. 

It found that 45 per cent of the bank’s customer service staff who responded to the survey had dealt with suspected cases of elder financial abuse. Almost all of those had dealt with at least one case in the previous 12 months. 

Today’s report confirms that financial elder abuse continues to be the second most common form of elder abuse report reported to the HSE.

The HSE’s information line for reporting cases of suspected elder abuse operates from Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm, at 1850 24 1850.

Age Action also runs an information line for anyone who might be concerned about elder abuse. It operates from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, at 01 475 6989.

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Older people’s organisations say Government response to financial pressure of COVID-19 is piecemeal and inadequate

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