The support experiences of older people who have been abused in Ireland
The Journal of Adult Protection
Article publication date: 29 November 2013
The purpose of this paper is to examine the support experiences of older people who have been abused in Ireland.
Recruited through dedicated elder abuse services, nine older people who had experienced elder abuse participated in in-depth, semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed using thematic content analysis.
The study highlighted the help-seeking pathways of abused older people and revealed that few older people sought help for themselves and most were unaware of the services available to support and protect older people. Data analysis identified the range and type of help received from family, friends, voluntary and statutory services, as well as the perceived barriers to accessing help and support.
The research did not include abused older people who lacked mental capacity or who had experienced self-neglect, criminal victimisation by strangers or who had not received statutory support services. This field may benefit from future research that seeks to examine the support experiences of these groups.
Family, staff and professionals who care for older people need to be cognisant of the signs of elder abuse, and bring them to the attention of older people should they have concerns, as older people may not always recognise that they are being abused.
The paper contributes to our understanding of the support needs of older people in Ireland and the perceived barriers to accessing help and support.
The authors wish to express their gratitude to the older people who participated in this study for sharing their experiences and to the HSE senior case workers for the protection of older people for their assistance with participant recruitment. The authors would also like to acknowledge the Health Service Executive for funding a programme of research in the National Centre for the Protection of Older People at University College Dublin of which this study was part of.
Lafferty, A., Pearl Treacy, M. and Fealy, G. (2013), "The support experiences of older people who have been abused in Ireland", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 15 No. 6, pp. 290-300. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-02-2013-0007
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