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Concern at rise in abuse cases reported to HIQA

Published 14/04/2016

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Age Action has expressed concern at a substantial rise in reports of abuse contained in this morning’s report from HIQA on its nursing home inspection service. 

The organisation also said that investment in community care would enable thousands of older people to stay at home and to avoid going into nursing homes.

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action, said: “We welcome the robust and independent monitoring that HIQA provides, but we are concerned at the rise in reports of allegations of suspected or confirmed abuse. These rose from 357 in 2014 to 424 last year, an increase of almost 19 per cent.

“It is essential that all of these cases are reported to the HSE’s elder abuse case-workers and properly investigated. We need a proactive approach to tackling elder abuse with more training for care staff and ensuring residents know how to report cases of suspected abuse."

Age Action members campaigning for a fair State Pension
Age Action members in Cork campaigning for better long-term care

Bigger question

Mr Moran continued: “But there is a much bigger question to be asked. Why are so many people in nursing homes in the first place?

“Many older people need quality nursing home care, but thousands could be at home with their families and in their communities if the proper supports were provided.

“That’s what they want. It’s what the Government’s National Positive Ageing Strategy promises. And it’s better value for money.

“The next Government must prioritise investment in services that enable older people to stay home as long as possible and introduce a statutory right to community care.”

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STOP67 calls for inclusion of advocates for women and older people on Pensions Commission

(13 November) The STOP67 Coalition has expressed its disappointment at the failure of the Government to appoint sufficient members to the Pensions Commission who reflect the interests of those most affected by the proposed pension age increase and, in particular, organisations representing women and older people. The Coalition includes the National Women’s Council (NWC), SIPTU, Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland.

In a letter to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, the Coalition said it was “shocked and surprised” that the Commission does not include the representatives of so many of those directly affected by the proposed pension age increase. This followed the announcement by the Government of the members of the Commission, which is due to assess whether the pension age should be increased to 67 years and to set out a future plan for the pension system.