World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

To mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which took place on Wednesday, 15th June, 2011, the HSE, the National Centre for the Protection of Older People (NCPOP) and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) hosted a conference on the issue of Elder Abuse.

The event also marked the publication of the HSE Elder Abuse Services 2010 which outlines the HSE’s elder abuse service and provides significant detail on elder abuse referrals to the HSE in 2010.

There are a number of types of elder abuse, including physical abuse, financial abuse, neglect, discrimination and sexual abuse. Last year, the HSE received 2,110 referrals of elder abuse, an increase of 10% from 2009.

The main findings of the review were as follows:-

▪ Psychological and financial abuse, along with neglect (excluding self-neglect) were the most common types of abuse reported;
▪ Women were twice as likely as men to experience abuse;
▪ Those in the over 80 years age group are almost three time as likely to experience abuse as the 65 to 79 year age group;
▪ In line with previous years, the referral data indicate that close family members, such as son, daughter or spouse, are most likely to carry out the abuse.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day aims to bring greater recognition of mistreatment of older adults wherever they live throughout the world and highlight the need for appropriate action. It is intended to give abuse and neglect of older adults a global relevance that will sustain and move prevention efforts forward throughout the whole year and in years to come. Elder Abuse is not an issue that can be tackled by one individual or organisation but requires a societal response.

As part of the conference, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Gerry Breen, Deputy Garda Commissioner Nacie Rice and the Head of the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, Dr. Martin McNamara, signed INPEA declarations against elder abuse.

Anyone experiencing elder abuse can call the HSE Information Line on 1850 24 1850, Monday to Saturday, 8:00am – 8:00pm or contact a health professional such as GP, Public Health Nurse or Social Worker.

To view or download the HSE Elder Abuse Services 2010 entitled ‘Open Your Eyes’, please visit the HSE website. Further information about the conference can be found at www.ncpop.ie.