Over 2,000 cases of alleged elder abuse were reported to the Health Service Executive in 2010, an increase of 10% from 2009.
The HSE has said that the number of referrals of alleged elder abuse has increased every year since 2008, when it began collecting official figures.
Provisional figures for 2011 up to the end of September show that 1,511 cases of alleged elder abuse were referred to the Executive.
Some 65% of referrals related to women and in 95% of cases the abuse occurred in a person's place of residence.
The main abuse categories are psychological at 29%, financial at 20%, self neglect (17%) and neglect (16%).
In terms of the alleged perpetrator, this year 45% were a son or daughter, 17% were other relatives, partner-husband-wife accounted for 16% of referrals with alleged abuse by carer-staff at 8%.
Eamon Timmins of Age Action Ireland said people need to be alert to the warning signs of possible abuse.
Consultant in geriatric medicine at Tallaght Hospital Professor Des O'Neill said the true number of cases of alleged abuse is probably closer to 25,000 a year, based on research.
The HSE has 31 senior case workers for the protection of older people around the country and three dedicated officers for the protection of older people operating at a regional level.