Action on Elder Abuse

Belfast, 16th October 2015, Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) Northern Ireland announces receipt of grant funding of £4450 from the Elise Pilkington Trust to fund equipment to extend the reach of the Elder Abuse Response Helpline in the country.

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The funding will enable the charity to expand its delivery of the UK’s only freephone helpline dedicated to stopping the abuse of older people. Callers can ring from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm, on 080 8808 8141 for confidential support and information. Since 2011, the number of calls to the helpline has tripled, with it taking over 21,000 calls in 2014, all related to elder abuse.

Commenting on the funding, Northern Ireland Director Veronica Gray said, “Developing the reach of the helpline in Northern Ireland is a key priority for us. Over 3,000 older people were referred into Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland in 2014/15, and we know this figure is only a small representation of the true scale of elder abuse in the country. We need to develop the presence of our helpline to reach the vast number of older people who are living with abuse, and have nowhere to turn for support. This is an excellent development and fantastic news for all adults at risk in Northern Ireland and those who are concerned about them”.

This very practical support for AEA Northern Ireland will dramatically increase the charity’s ability to provide practical support for many more older victims of abuse. Research suggests that more than half a million older people are abused in the UK each year, often by people they know and trust. Some 60% are over 80 years old, with more than 15% aged over 90 years old. Nearly 1 in 4 victims lives with his or her abuser, and 1 in 3 relies on the abuser to provide some form of care.