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Elder abuse at home revealed

14th June 2007

Comic Relief research has revealed the extent of abuse taking place in the homes of older people.

The UK Study of Abuse and Neglect surveyed 2,000 people aged 66 and over living in their own homes or sheltered accommodation.

It found that 2.6 per cent of people were neglected or abused by family, close friends or care workers during the last year.

When the category of abuser is widened to include neighbours and acquaintances, it was found that four per cent were abused in their homes.

The most common form of abuse was neglect, followed by financial abuse, psychological and physical abuse and sexual abuse.

Around half the reported incidents involved a partner or family member, 13 per cent concerned a care worker and five per cent implicated a close friend.

Kevin Cahill, CEO of Comic Relief, said: "Comic Relief feels passionately that growing older with dignity is something we should all expect rather that aspire to.

"Using some of the money raised through Red Nose Day, we have taken the lead in funding this research and over the years, through appeal film and the BBC ONE drama 'Dad', we have helped raise awareness of this enormous social issue."