Older people are less likely to become victims of crime but when it happens, it can have a significant negative impact. The physical injuries from an assault can have devastating health consequences.
A burglary can result in an increased sense of vulnerability and isolation. The loss of money through scams or other financial crimes can severely impact older people’s quality of life and sense of confidence. However, proper support and actions to increase a person’s sense of safety can help to manage the most negative effects of crime.
The Seniors Alert Scheme (SAS) provides funding for a personal monitored alarm, connected to a contact centre. The aim of the Scheme is to enable people 65 years or older and of limited means to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence, and peace of mind.
The Scheme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development via Pobal with equipment made available through community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations.
More information about the programme can be found on Pobal’s website or by ringing them at 01 511 7000.
Some older people may be targeted for abuse because they are vulnerable. Abuse can take many forms including physical, sexual, psychological, financial, and neglect. It can be a single or repeated act, or a lack of an appropriate action. It most often occurs within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust which makes the harm it causes even more distressing.
What can make abuse difficult to identify or talk about is that it is often perpetrated by a son or daughter; partner, husband or wife; or other family member. It may start out as small or insignificant events but build over time to more serious and harmful behaviour.
If you have been a victim of abuse, or suspect someone you know is being abused, it is very important to reach out and speak to someone about it. People who you can turn to are the Gardaí, your GP, Public Health Nurse, family members, friends, or the HSE Information line on 1850 24 1850. You can also contact the Crime Victims Helpline for free on 116 006.
The Crime Victims Helpline is a listening and support service for victims of crime in Ireland. We provide time and space for victims to talk about their experiences. We also answer questions about the criminal justice system and help victims understand their rights.
If you or a friend or family member has been impacted by crime, there are a number of organization in Ireland who can help.