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November 20, 2008

Elder Abuse: Victims Often Blame Family Members

Victims of elderly abuse blame family in majority of cases

By Eilish O'Regan
Health Correspondent
November 11 2008

Older people who complain of mistreatment or abuse are most likely to point the finger of blame at a relative, particularly a son or daughter.

There were 600 complaints about alleged elder abuse between January and May this year, and 93pc claimed it happened in their own homes, according to new figures released yesterday.
When asked who the alleged perpetrator was, 39pc blamed a son or daughter, 20pc implicated a spouse, and 12pc made the allegation against another relative. And 56pc were living in the same house as their alleged abuser.

A similar trend was apparent last year, showing most abuse occurred in the home. The figures showed 85pc happened in the elderly person's house; 3pc in an acute hospital setting; 4pc in private nursing homes; 4pc in a relative's home; 3pc in public homes for the elderly; and 1pc in boarding/lodging facilities.

The 2007 statistics indicate that a family member is most likely (82pc) to abuse an elderly relation, followed by a carer (6pc), neighbour (4pc), and other patients (1pc). Another 7pc is accounted for other groups in society.

The HSE has advised anyone who is being abused to talk to a GP, public health nurse or garda, or contact the HSE Information Line on 1850 341850 for more information.
- Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

Abridged
SOURCE: Independent.IE (Ireland)
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