ONE in four people in Yorkshire has never heard of elder abuse - despite it affecting half a million older people nationwide.

A new study by Help the Aged reveals a startling lack of awareness of the issue in our region.

The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional or financial.

Help the Aged director Paul Cann said: "If more people understood what elder abuse is, we'd be one step closer to tackling this national scandal."

The survey also revealed that a shocking 46% of abusers are related to their victim.

Tell-tale signs that an older person has been abused include becoming withdrawn or depressed and over-emphasising that things are alright.

Speaking at the launch of the charity's Enough is Enough campaign, TV presenter Esther Rantzen said: "Elder abuse not only has a devastating effect on older people, it shocks and appals their loved ones."

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