Press Release

Minister Máire Hoctor launches Training and Policy document on 13th June 2008, to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Minister for Older People Máire Hoctor TD today launched the Health Service Executive’s (HSE) training DVD ‘Recognising and Responding to Elder Abuse in Residential Care Settings’ and policy document ‘Responding to allegations of Elder Abuse’ to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Welcoming these latest developments in the HSE’s Elder Abuse Programme, the Minister noted that ‘Elder abuse is a complex issue and difficult to define precisely. It may involve financial abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse, or it may arise due to inadequacy of care. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day presents an opportunity to publicly highlight the phenomenon of elder abuse, and is an occasion for reflection on the measures needed to prevent elder abuse and to deal with it when it does happen.’

Launching the policy document, the Minister said that’Whatever form elder abuse may take, it is simply unacceptable and that is the message we have to send out. …Tackling elder abuse effectively means a concerted effort to work together and with other agencies and to have the procedures and tools to make that happen.’ The new policy template is a whole system approach which provides clear guidelines for Acute Hospitals, Community Care, Primary Care and Day Centres etc.

When living at home is no longer possible is it essential that older people have access to the best possible residential care available. The training DVD, the first in a series of three, aims to support staff in meeting the criteria set out under standard 8 (protection standard) of the Health Information and Quality Authority’s (HIQA) draft residential standards. It is envisaged that HIQA’s draft National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People will be in place later this year.

In making services for older people a priority, this Government has underlined its commitment to older people by appointing a Minister for Older People, supported by the Office for Older People which was established earlier this year. ‘One of the functions of the new Office is to develop a Strategy for Positive Ageing. My goal is to develop a meaningful and innovative Strategy that will result in real improvements in the lives of older people.’concluded Minister Hoctor.