The HSE investigated 176 claims of elderly people being sexually abused in Ireland last year.
The health service’s National Safeguarding Office received almost 12,000 'concerns' of abuse of vulnerable people last year.
Some 3,337 related to adults over 65-years-of-age – a 9% increase on the year before.
One third (33%) of those complaints related to psychological abuse, while just over one quarter (26%) related to physical abuse and 21% related to financial abuse.
Some 176 allegations related to sexual abuse.
Dr Sarah Donnelly, an assistant professor of social work in UCD, says the new report is very concerning.
“We have seen a strong media focus recently on financial abuse and what this report really tells us is that there are also increasing numbers of older people experiencing psychological and physical abuse but also, worryingly, cases of sexual abuse.
“So, the report details 122 cases of sexual abuse in the over 65s and 54 in the over-80s which is extremely concerning and worrying.”
In 45% of all abuse cases against people over 65 last year, it is alleged family members were responsible.
They include adult children and spouses.
Other service-users are the suspects in 26% of cases and staff members in 14%.