Elder Abuse

Definition Of Elder Abuse
Single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action accruing within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person or violates their human and civil rights.
Most people do not experience abuse; however, an older person can be harmed or abused by others. Abuse can take more than one form at any given time.
Abuse can be:
·         Physical
·         Financial
·         Material
·         Sexual
·         Psychological
·         Neglect and acts of omission
·         Discriminatory abuse
Who Might Abuse?
Any individual or organisation may be guilty of abuse. Most often it is someone well known to the older person – a relationship where there is an expectation of trust.
Where Might Abuse Happen?
Abuse can happen anywhere – at home, within residential, daycare or hospital settings or public places.
If you have experienced any form of abuse you should speak to:
·         Someone you trust
·         G.P. or Public Health Nurse
·         Local Garda Station
·         The H.S.E. Helpline 1850 241 850
Handling Of Suspected Elder Abuse Cases
All cases of alleged Elder Abuse are treated seriously, dealt with in confidence and, as much as possible, handled in a way that respects the wishes of the older person.
The overall aim is to ensure the safety and well-being of an older person while providing support to stop the abusive behaviour.
Senior Case Worker

Carlow / Kilkenny Senior Case Worker for the Protection of Older People
Ms. Geraldine Sutton, Social Worker,      
HSE South, Kilkenny Community Care Headquarters, James Green, Kilkenny
Tel: 056 778 4705 and Email: geraldine.sutton@hse.ie

Age Action

"A Total Indifference to our Dignity"
Older People's Understandings of Elder Abuse

About the Project
Elder abuse is recognised increasingly as a socially and culturally constructed phenomen. However, older people's understanding of abuse and how these understandings affect their interactions with existing support services remain relatively unknown. Supports and services in response to this issue have traditionally been developed by professionals and practitioners. The current project addressed this gap in knowledge by being the first study carried out in the island of Ireland to directly consult older people on their perceptions of elder abuse. This report documents the findings of eight focus groups which were carried out across Ireland between October 2010 and February 2011. A Total of 58 people aged 65 years and over took part in the research.
For further information please click here.

Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland- Insights into elder Abuse.
Studies on the prevalence of elder abuse on the island of Ireland estimate that 2.2% in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and 2% in Northern Ireland (NI) experience abuse (Naughton et al, 2010; O’Keefe et al, 2007). An ageing population means that the number of people who will experience abuse when they grow older is set to increase unless measures to tackle elder abuse are introduced.
In ROI, a Working Group on Elder Abuse published the Protecting Our Future strategy in 2002. In NI, the policy guide Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults was published in 2006. While these policy and practice responses are welcome, little is known about older people’s understanding of abuse and how this understanding affects how they utilise support services. To address this deficit, CARDI funded a study which set out to consult older people on their perceptions of elder abuse. This briefing is based on the findings of “A Total Indifference to Our Dignity”: older people’s understandings of elder abuse, a study led by Dr Emer Begley, Age Action Ireland as well as drawing on information collated by CARDI. It discusses how elder abuse is defined, looks at the views on abuse of older people themselves and examines the policy implications of the study.