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Public encouraged to report abuse

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019 4:54pm

Just two per cent of safeguarding concerns are made directly by those who may have been abused. 

This week Safeguarding Ireland Chairperson Patricia Rickard Clarke said that almost all of the cases reported to the HSE are by staff and families.

She said: “Those most at risk are vulnerable adults such as people who are living with dementia, a brain injury, a mental illness, a learning disability, a physical disability, or a frail older person. Though people may live with reduced capacity, we would encourage them to report their concerns where possible.”

No specific Cork figures were available but national figures for 2017 saw 10,120 concerns about alleged abuse in Ireland with the most common type physical abuse at 37 per cent, followed by psychological at 29 per cent, financial abuse at 11 per cent and sexual abuse at nine per cent.

However, Safeguarding Ireland confirmed that just two per cent of complaints came directly from those affected.

Safeguarding Ireland was established in December 2015 and brings together key players in the public sector such as the HSE, legal and financial services, the health and social care professions, regulatory authorities, An Garda Síochána and NGOs representing older people, people with disabilities and carers and independent advocacy services.

Ms Rickard Clarke also encouraged all adults to ‘think ahead’ to safeguard their future.

She added: “If today you are not at risk of experiencing abuse, it is important that you take preventative steps and I encourage all adults to ‘think ahead’ and plan for their future.

“In particular, I would encourage adults to put in place an enduring power of attorney, which gives financial and legal decision making responsibility to a chosen and most trusted person.

“Other important decisions include notifying of healthcare preferences, such as place of care and advance healthcare directives.”

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