Press Release

Minister Callely Launches Draft Guidelines on the Protection of Vulnerable Adults

Mr Ivor Callely T.D., Minister for Services for Older People, today (Thursday, November 27, 2003), expressed his delight at accepting the invitation of the Western Health Board to launch the Draft Guidelines on the Protection of Vulnerable Adults at the “Action on Adult Abuse” Conference in the Corrib Great Southern Hotel, Galway.

The purpose of the document is to set out guidelines on the procedures to be adopted when complaints or allegations of abuse of adults arise. It covers all types of abuse including physical, sexual, psychological, financial or material, neglect and acts of omission, discriminatory, social and emotional abuse.

In commenting on the Draft Guidelines, Minister Callely stated “These guidelines are applicable to all adults who may find themselves vulnerable but in particular it applies to those who may be unable to defend themselves, including persons with a learning disability, persons with a physical disability, persons with a sensory disability, persons with a mental illness, and older people.”

Referring to the Report on Elderly Abuse, Minister Callely stated that “This report, in starting with a definition of elder abuse and recommending the putting in place of structures to deal with suspected cases, will, hopefully, give older people who feel they are the subject of abuse in any shape or form, the confidence to report their anxieties, as appropriate, to such as a social worker, a public health nurse, a member of the G├írda Siochana or, indeed, any professional or care worker.”

The guidelines are intended to promote good practice in responding to allegations and to provide guidance for management and staff in developing their practices and procedures for dealing with abuse.