Age Action is urging communities across Ireland to wake up to the warning signs that vulnerable, older neighbours and friends may be being abused, in the wake of highest number of referrals to the HSE’s dedicated elder abuse service, since the service began.
The appeal by the national charity for older people was made to mark World Elder Abuse Day today (June 15). “We know that last year the HSE’s elder abuse service received over 2,300 referrals of alleged abuse – an increase of 9% on 2010 and the single largest annual increase since the service commenced in 2007,” Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins said. “The most common place (81%) for these alleged abuses to occur was the victim’s home. Which raises the question for communities on World Elder Abuse day: would you recognise if abuse was occurring in your community?”
Age Action believes that communities have to take a greater role in protecting their older members, and this must involve members of the public educating themselves about the issue and the possible warning signs. Communities must also know what to do once they suspect abuse is occurring. “When it comes to elder abuse, doing nothing is not an option,” Mr Timmins said.
Mr. Timmons of Age Action Ireland points out that there are substantial information resources which the public can use to inform and educate themselves about elder abuse, including the dedicated section of the HSE’s website (www.hse.ie/eng/services/Find_a_Service/Older_People_Services/Elder_Abuse/) and the National Centre for the Protection of Older People’s website (www.ncpop.ie). See also the list of symptoms at the end of this release.
Here at Be Independent Home Care, Alice Lucey, Director of Care agrees that this HSE resource provides valuable information saying “The HSE Elder Abuse DVD is an incredibly information DVD which we show to all new starters as part of our care team induction programme”.
For the full Age Action Ireland article please visit their website http://www.ageaction.ie/communities-have-greater-role-protecting-older-people-elder-abuse