A service supporting elderly people who are being abused is receiving around six calls for help every day, and says it's the tip of the iceberg.
In over half of the cases referred to Age Concern, abuse or neglect is confirmed.
But overseas research indicates only 16 per cent of elder abuse ever comes to light.
Age Concern's Louise Collins says the reason it's so under-reported is because it most commonly happens within families.
"Some people are ashamed, or they're reliant on a family member, so they don't want to say anything incase the abuse gets worse.
"And if it's their children, well they're their children so what did they do wrong. So there's the shame and the guilt."
Age Concern is speaking out to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and has launched an Always Respected, Never Abused campaign.