Written Answers. - Abuse of the Elderly.

John Gormley

Ceist:

253 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Health and Children if his Department has examined, has or intends to formulate a policy on the subject of elder abuse. [17895/03]

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that I launched Protecting Our Future, the report of the working group on abuse of the elderly, on 11 November last. I will forward a copy of the report to the Deputy. This report, in starting with a definition of abuse of the elderly and recommending the putting in place of structures to deal with suspected cases will, hopefully, give older people who feel they are the subject of abuse in any shape or form, the confidence to report their anxieties, as appropriate, to such as a social worker, a public health nurse, a member of the Garda Síochána or, indeed, any professional or care worker. I have supplied funding to the health boards and the Eastern Regional Health Authority to permit implementation of the recommendations contained in the report, on a phased basis, commencing in 2003.