As we age the incidence of illness and disability increases. This often leads to changes in living arrangements, and the ability to manage personal affairs is compromised. This means that many older adults turn the management of certain activities over to others, often opening the door to mistreatment or elder abuse (Eliopoulos 2010). Elder abuse may be defined as “A single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person or violates their human and civil rights” (HSE, 2002a, p25). Elder abuse is a significant social challenge in contemporary western society. There were 1,870 referrals of alleged abuse made to the HSE service in 2009 (HSE, 2010).
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