More adults are going missing and their problems are being ignored, social workers say. Police figures show the number of children and teenagers reported missing dropped 20 per cent last year but the number of missing adults and elderly soared 34 per cent. Kwok Lit-tung, spokesman for the Association for the Rights of the Elderly, predicted the problem would become more serious as the number of elderly people grew. 'The elderly are sometimes neglected by their family members. While people always talk about missing teenagers or children left at home unattended, few talk about missing elderly,' he said. 'They think the elderly are mature and should be able to take care of themselves. But they forget elderly people can lose their memory and some may behave like children and face the same danger as children when left unattended.' Last year, 5,552 people were reported missing to police, compared to 5,732 in 1996. In 1997, 3,247 people aged under 20 disappeared (4,018 in 1996) and 2,305 aged 21 and over (1,713).