Older people’s views of support services in response to elder abuse in communities across Ireland

Emer Begley, Marita O'Brien, Janet Carter-Anand, Campbell Killick, Brian J Taylor

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The development of elder abuse services has traditionally been defined from the perspective of policy makers and professionals. In this paper we present findings from the first all-Ireland study that consulted older people on their perceptions of interventions and services to support people experiencing abuse. The research, funded by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI), was undertaken by a cross-disciplinary, cross-border collaborative team. Utilising a grounded theory approach 58 people aged 65 years and over took part in focus groups across Ireland. Four peer-researchers were trained to assist in recruitment, data collection, analysis and dissemination. Participants identified preventative community-based approaches and peer supports as important mechanisms to support people experiencing and at risk of elder abuse. Choice 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. The policy implication of these findings for service development 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-59
JournalQuality in Ageing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2012


  • Elder abuse
  • Ireland
  • older people
  • peer-research
  • social work
  • support services.


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