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Police investigating 30 allegations of elder care neglect across Finland

Some of the allegations contend that neglect in care homes may have resulted in injury or death.

Rollaattoreja rivissä.
Valvira and the Police Board met on Monday night to talk about working together on the allegations raised against elderly care homes. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

Police said Tuesday that investigators are currently probing 30 allegations of neglect, some of which may have resulted in injury or death, related to elder care.

The revelation follows several widely publicised instances of suspected neglect at senior care homes in Finland and recent reports that Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health is probing up to 15 deaths at senior care homes. The deaths that Valvira is investigating occurred in private and public care homes across Finland between 2017 and 2018.

Valvira and the Police Board met on Monday to exchange information and discuss cooperation.

Police said that they have been asked to investigate cases involving the Attendo Care Home Pelimanni and Esperi Care’s elder care operations, for example.

At the Pelimanni care home in Alavus in western Finland, operations were suspended earlier in February because of alarming shortcomings in the quality of care. In January, Valvira closed an Esperi Care facility in Kristinestad, also in the west.

Police say no rise in reports of alleged abuse

However, according to police chief inspector Heikki Lausmaa there has not been a rise in the number of investigations compared to previous years.

"Each year several suspected crimes against the elderly in care homes are brought to the attention of police," Lausmaa said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Speaking about the current 30 allegations, Lausmaa said that each case is unique and the alleged crimes vary.

"Police departments receive requests to investigate from family members as well as other people and start preliminary investigations independently" he noted.

Each investigation is being carried out by the local police department in the area where the request for a probe has been made, the statement added.

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