A new national study of elder abuse has found that more than half of staff in nursing homes have observed neglect of residents.
The research was carried out by the National Centre for the Protection of Older People at University College Dublin.
Over one in four employees said they had seen psychological abuse taking place, while one in eight had observed physical abuse.
The most frequent forms of physical abuse were restraining a patient unnecessarily and pushing, grabbing, shoving or pinching.
Psychological abuse consisted of shouting, insulting or swearing at residents.
A small number of staff, 1.2%, had seen another employee taking valuables from a resident.
Over 1,300 nurses and healthcare assistants in 64 nursing homes around the country were surveyed.
The report's lead author Dr Jonathan Drennan of the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems said Ireland compared well with similar international studies, reporting a lower level of elder abuse.
Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Dr Drennan said the figures highlight that initiatives are needed to reduce practices that lead to abuse.
He said staff had observed a range of abuses take place in nursing homes.
"If we look at physical, the most prevalent was restraining a resident beyond what was needed at the time, or the use of restraints.
"In a very, very small number of cases staff reported they had observed a member of staff slap or hit a resident," he said.