‘Elder Abuse’- Greater Urgency Required to Tackle Rise in Reported Cases

Cllr Derren Ó Brádaigh

A local councillor has called for greater awareness and action, to address the rising cases of reported ‘Elder Abuse’. Derren Ó Brádaigh is a South Dublin County councillor and representative for the Lucan, Palmerstown and North Clondalkin local elected area within Dublin Mid-West.

Cllr Ó Brádaigh was commenting ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) and said “We all know that abuse takes different forms and there are many types of abuse that our older citizens often fall victim to. Types of abuse inflicted can range from physical, emotional, sexual, neglect and financial. Only last year figures illustrated that 16,000 cases of elder abuse were reported to the HSE over the previous 5-year period. According to advocacy groups, this strongly underestimates the true figure and does not take account of abuse in private nursing homes, hospitals or other services such as homeless units or addiction centres.

“Recently, I submitted a request to my own local authority, asking that they outline their plans to raise awareness on WEAAD Day for June 15th. Following a subsequent discussion with the Corporate Policy Group the council agreed to a website and social media light up request to the associated colour purple, in supporting the call for an awareness initiative.  However, as a country we need to be doing far more in order to expedite necessary and long-awaited Adult Safeguarding Legislation.

“Too many of our older people are being subjected to coercive control and even abandonment. Government also needs to ensure that all local authorities have the necessary funding and resources to provide ample age-friendly housing and associated supports. Currently, there are almost 200 people over the age of 65 in emergency accommodation. This represents a 40% increase in the last 2 years alone. In my view, neglect can be defined in this regard, as the failure to meet an older person’s needs.

“We don’t have safeguarding legislation in the same way many other countries have. There is a lack of legislative framework, with no assessment of risk or needs and no obligation to provide the necessary services. “This year’s theme for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is “Closing the Circle; Addressing Gender Based Violence, Older Age Policy, Law and Evidence-based Responses.” As a society, I believe that we must always recognise the contribution of those that have laid the path before us, and this begins with respect and supports. Rights don’t get old – so let’s cherish all our older persons of the nation equally.”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.



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