Skip to main content


This section provides information on preventing and reporting abuse of older people.

What is adult safeguarding?

Safeguarding is putting measures in place to reduce the risk of harm/abuse, to promote and protect people’s human rights and their health and wellbeing, and to empower people to protect themselves. 

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has developed a short video animation to explain what Adult Safeguarding is:

Elder abuse:

Most older people do not experience abuse. But unfortunately, some older people may be harmed or abused by others. An older person may also experience more than one form of abuse at any given time. For more information, see HSE Elder Abuse link below.

Who should I contact about elder abuse?

Anyone who has a concern about the safeguarding of an adult at risk, including an older person at risk, should contact the HSE on 1800 700 700 for details of the relevant local Safeguarding and Protection Team (see links below) or talk to their GP, public health nurse or An Garda Síochána. 

Useful Resources, Contacts and Links:

The HSE Social Care Division has published an operational policy on adult safeguarding (primarily applicable to services for older people and disability services): ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse (see link below)

HIQA has published a range of national standards (see links below) relevant to safeguarding adults and providing safe services, including national standards for Adult Safeguarding and for Residential Care Settings for Older People.  HIQA is currently in the process of developing national standards for home support services.