Newstalk
Newstalk

13.46 15 Jun 2016


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A charity is warning that older people who have no support in their community are four times more likely to suffer abuse than those with high levels of support.

The comments from ALONE come as the world marks Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The group is highlighting the need for greater awareness around the issue.

It says abuse of older people is often carried out by a carer or family member.

As a result, the abused individual is often fearful of speaking out and losing their only source of contact, help or support.

The CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan, says: "Elder abuse can manifest itself in many forms. It may be physical, emotional, financial or neglect."

"It may be controlling an older person's pension, overcharging them for odd jobs or making them feel like a burden in any way."

He says the charity is concerned that reports of elder abuse are seriously under-reported.

Social isolation

"There is often a complex relationship between the older person and their abuser as they can be reliant on them for other needs. They are therefore unable to or unwilling to report the abuse."

"This is a really delicate issue and family members or members of the public who suspect abuse are welcome to reach out to ALONE."

"We would also ask that the older person themselves gets in touch with us and we will treat their case with the utmost sensitivity," he added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) identifies social isolation as a risk factor in elder abuse.

As people's support network narrows and they become more reliant on individuals, the risk for elder abuse heightens.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day takes place on June 15th every year - and was first established by the United Nations five years ago in an effort to raise public awareness.

For anyone who has concerns about their own well-being, or the well-being of a vulnerable older person, ALONE can be contacted on 01-679-1032


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