Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Older people suffer mental abuse

Older women were most likely to be victims of bullying, the HSE report found

Psychological bullying accounted for more than a third of all cases of reported elder abuse last year.

A quarter of older people fell victim to financial abuse in 2011, with a fifth suffering neglect and 12% being physically attacked.

A total 2,302 allegations of elder abuse were reported to the Health Service Executive (HSE) last year, a 9% jump from 2010.

Calls also included 429 people who raised concerns over self-neglect, while six were about organisational abuse from a financial institution or utility company.

Garda action was taken in 13% of cases.

Frank Murphy, of the national elder abuse steering committee, said the increase in calls shows people are more aware of the issue.

"This may be as a result of the significant efforts that the HSE, and its partners, have made in recent years in trying to increase awareness of the issue," said Mr Murphy.

"It may also be a sign that people are having a growing confidence in the service."

Figures revealed 1,555 cases of substantiated abuse since 2008, including 283 cases concluded last year.

Older women were most likely to be victims, with the alleged perpetrator a son or daughter in 44% of cases, followed by a spouse or another relative, both at 18%. The alleged abuser and victim were living together in almost half of all cases.

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