ALISON HEALY reports today in the Irish Times that “The abuse of older people is being ignored by society but horrific stories of elder abuse are regularly coming to light, according to Fr Tony Byrne, director of the suicide and bullying charity Awareness Education Services.

“Everyone is talking about bullying in the schools and it is a big issue but we are hearing horrific stories of elder abuse, especially in families,” he said. “Adult children are moving back home and forcing money from their parents. They are trying to force their parents out of their own homes too.”

Awareness Education Services is holding a conference on bullying in the home, workplace and school in Dublin on Friday, March 1st, and Fr Byrne said he hoped it would help promote respect for the dignity of older people.

“The HSE has reported that 4,512 cases of elder abuse have been referred to them over the past two years. Respect has been replaced by ridicule, deference by indifference, devotion by disclaim or discrimination by ageism,” he said.

Alice Lucey, Director of Care at Be Independent Home Care points to a HSE resource that provides valuable information on Elder Abuse saying “The HSE Elder Abuse DVD is an incredibly information DVD which we show to all of our home care team as part of our care team induction programme”.