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New campaign exposes threat of financial elder abuse

Published 15/06/2016


Age Action is marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15 June) by launching a new animated video to warn older people and their families of the dangers of financial elder abuse. In the coming weeks the organisation will also distribute more than 20,000 information leaflets to community centres and retirement groups around Ireland. 

The initiative is part of a wider project funded by Ulster Bank to help raise awareness of the costs and risks of financial elder abuse.

The video was produced by Dublin-based animation studio, Pink Kong.

There were more than 2,500 cases of elder abuse referred to the HSE in 2014 and one in five were financial abuse. Despite annual increases in the number of cases a survey of older people carried out by Age Action last year found that more than half of those surveyed were unaware of financial elder abuse.

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action, said: “Every year, hundreds of older people face demands for money, have their pensions withheld or their possessions taken.

“To make it worse, in the overwhelming majority of cases of elder abuse, the perpetrators are immediate family members.”

Age Action and Ulster Bank have been working together since 2014 as part of the bank’s wider work in the area of financial capability, to raise awareness of financial elder abuse and to identify ways to help older people protect themselves.

Pauline McKiernan of Ulster Bank said: “Older people and more vulnerable members of our society are at particular risk of being targets for fraud and financial abuse. As a bank, we are working hard to raise awareness of these issues and to protect customers against financial loss from scams and financial elder abuse. 

“Our work with Age Action is an important part of Ulster Bank’s strategy to help improve financial capability and provide meaningful help for our customers. We’re very proud to support this campaign and we would urge everyone to watch this video and to share it as widely as possible.”

Justin Moran continued: “It is those who are abusing older people, taking their money and their savings, who are responsible for elder abuse.

“The best way for older people to protect themselves is to be informed, to ensure their friends and family know what warnings signs to watch out for and to act when they suspect elder abuse.

“This video, and the leaflet campaign we will be rolling out in the coming weeks, will open the eyes of thousands of older people and their families to the dangers of financial elder abuse.”

Tackling Financial Elder Abuse


Age Action Ireland to benefit from Gas Networks Ireland Survey

Gas Networks Ireland is raising money for Age Action. If you've recently called their contact centre or had work done by them, you might receive a text from Gas Networks asking for your feedback. For every response received, they'll donate €2 to Age Action. There is no obligation to participate.

How It Works - If you've had contact with Gas Networks Ireland service centre or had work carried out by them, you may receive a message from Marie Lyster, their Customer Experience Manager. This message is an invitation to share your feedback. 

By providing feedback – only if you choose to – you'll be supporting Age Action Ireland. For every piece of feedback received, Gas Networks Ireland will donate €2 to our organisation. This contribution can support our efforts to improve the lives of older people in Ireland.You won't be asked for any bank details or money. Gas Networks Ireland is handling all the donations.

If you would rather not get these texts, just let them know and you won’t be included.  If you are over 65yrs old, you can contact them directly on their Age-Friendly service.  See their contact details here.

For Corporate Clients- Please note that Gas Networks donate €50 for each qualitative interview their commercial customers take part in.

Details on Gas networks customer surveys is available here.

For more information about our work and other ways to get involved with Age Action, please click here.