There was a marginal decline in the number of referrals of elder abuse to the Health Service Executive last year, according to its review of services for 2013.

The report says there were 2,437 referrals, a decline of 1% on the previous year.

When referrals of self-neglect are excluded, there were 1,900 referrals.

The most common type of abuse reported was psychological abuse, which represented 33% of cases, financial abuse, 26%, neglect, 21% and physical abuse, 14%.

The public health nursing service is the main source of referral, followed by hospital staff.

Most alleged abuse is perpetrated by a family member, most likely a son or daughter in 45% of cases.

A partner or husband or wife is the alleged perpetrator in 19% of cases, and other relatives in 15%.

A HSE information line on abuse operates at 1850 241850.