Developing strategies for the prevention, detection and management of elder abuse: the Irish experience.
ABSTRACT It is only within the past two decades that elder abuse has received governmental attention in Ireland. There had been little awareness, and no structures in place to tackle this problem prior to this. Media highlighting of particular cases, and an exploratory study undertaken in 1998, prompted the setting up of a governmental working group on elder abuse. Unique to this group was the trialling of a proposed system in two pilot sites. This allowed for recommendations based on actual practice, and has lead to the adoption of a network of elder abuse caseworkers, among other recommendations.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose – This paper seeks to present findings from the first all-Ireland study that consulted older people on their perceptions of interventions and services to support people experiencing abuse. Design/methodology/approach – Utilising a grounded theory approach, 58 people aged 65 years and over took part in focus groups across Ireland. Four peer-researchers were also trained to assist in recruitment, data collection, analysis, and dissemination. Findings – Participants identified preventative community-based approaches and peer supports as important mechanisms to support people experiencing, and being at risk of, elder abuse. Choices regarding care provision and housing, as well as opportunities for engagement in community activities where they can discuss issues with others, were identified as ways to prevent abuse. Originality/value – The development of elder abuse services has traditionally been defined from the perspective of policy makers and professionals. This study looked at the perspective of the end-users of such services for the first time. The research also gave an active role to older people in the research process. The policy implication of the findings from this research is that enhanced attention and resources should be directed to community activities that enable older people to share their concerns informally thereby gaining confidence to seek more formal interventions when necessary.Quality in ageing: policy, practice and research 03/2012; 13(1):48-59.
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ABSTRACT: This qualitative study used data from eight focus groups involving 58 people aged over 65 years in both urban and rural settings across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Following training, four older people assisted in facilitation and analysis as peer researchers. Increasing lack of respect within society was experienced as abusive. The vulnerability of older people to abuse was perceived as relating to the need for help and support, where standing up for themselves might have repercussions for the person's health or safety. Emotional abusiveness was viewed as underpinning all forms of abuse, and as influencing its experienced severity. Respondents' views as to whether an action was abusive required an understanding of intent: some actions that professionals might view as abusive were regarded as acceptable if they were in the older person's best interests. Preventing abuse requires a wide-ranging approach including rebuilding respect for older people within society. Procedures to prevent elder abuse need to take into account the emotional impact of family relationships and intent, not just a description of behaviors that have occurred.Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect 04/2014; 26(3):223-243.
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ABSTRACT: Until recent years, Ireland has not formally responded to elder abuse. This article considers the recent developments in Ireland through an ecological framework, which focuses on the multidimensional progress of Irish policy, practice, and legislation related to protecting older people. Although significant progress has been made, the discussion highlights areas for continued development and improvement.Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect 02/2014; 26(2):172-88.