7% increase in elderly abuse, HSE figures show

The Health Service Executive has reported a 7% increase in the number of elderly people suffering abuse.

7% increase in elderly abuse, HSE figures show

The Health Service Executive has reported a 7% increase in the number of elderly people suffering abuse.

A review of the HSE’s Elder Abuse Services for 2012 was published today. It shows that psychological abuse remains the number one form of mistreatment towards older people, at 36%, while financial abuse follows at 25%.

The report shows that in nearly 50% of the cases a son or daughter is the alleged perpetrator.

In total the service has seen a 30% increase in abuse cases towards the elderly since 2008.

Sarah Mahon of the HSE said it is likely the real number of instances is higher than is reported.

"What we can report are the number of referrals that are reported to the HSE," she explained.

"Of course, that's not the number of cases of elder abuse that there are, it's only what somebody is prepared to tell a nurse or a GP and so on."

She said the HSE knows there is a "significant problem" with under-reporting of abuse cases in Ireland, because the figures are lower than those produced from a UCD study in recent years.

She encouraged those suffering from elder abuse to inform their GP, a local clinic, or to contact the HSE helpline on 1850 24 1850.

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