Elder abuse is “an act or omission which results in a serious physical or emotional injury to an elderly person or financial exploitation of an elderly person; or the failure, inability or resistance of an elderly person to provide for himself or herself one or more of the necessities essential for physical and emotional well-being without which the elderly person would be unable to safely remain in the community.” The Commonwealth recognizes anyone age 60 or over as an elder.
How to Report Elder Abuse, Neglect, or Self-Neglect:
If the Situation is an Emergency, Dial 9-1-1 immediately.
Anyone can report elder abuse. If you are concerned about an older adult (age 60 or older), and have reason to believe he/she is a victim of elder abuse, neglect, self-neglect or financial exploitation call the Massachusetts-based Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275. Every community in Massachusetts is covered by a designated Protective Service Agency. All reports will be referred to and handled by the designated Protective Service Agency. The agency will determine if an investigation is warranted. If needed, the situation will be investigated and the best course of action to alleviate the risk will be determined. All calls are confidential.
Reportable Conditions – What is Elder Abuse?
Physical Abuse. The non-accidental infliction of serious injury to an elderly person.
Sexual Abuse. Sexual assault, rape, sexual misuse or exploitation of an elder, or threats of sexual abuse with intent and capacity to carry out such threats.
Emotional Abuse. The non-accidental infliction of serious emotional injury to an elderly person.
Neglect. Failure of a caretaker to provide one or more of the necessities essential for physical, intellectual, and emotional well-being, such as food, clothing, shelter, social contact, personal care and medical care which results in serious physical or emotional injury, or severe self-neglect.
Self-neglect. The failure or refusal of an elder to provide for himself or herself one or more necessities essential for physical or emotional well-being, which has resulted in, or where there is a substantial reason to believe that such failure or refusal will immediately result in serious harm, and prevents the elder from remaining safely in the community.
Financial Exploitation. The non-accidental act or omission by another person, without the consent of the elder, causing substantial monetary/property loss to the elder and gain to another which otherwise might benefit the elder.
Who Should Report Elder Abuse?
Anyone who suspects elder abuse or neglect should report it. Some individuals are mandated to report, and are subject to a $1,000 fine for failure to do so. If you are a mandated reporter, you must complete a Mandated Reporter Form within 48 hours of your verbal report.
Mandated reporters who are subject to fine for failure to report include:
Physicians, physician assistants, nurses, medical interns, coroners, dentists, podiatrists, osteopaths, social workers, occupational, physical therapists, psychologists, family counselors, police, probation officers, EMTs, firefighters director of a home health aide agency, director of a homemaker agency, director of an assisted living residence, case managers, health aides, homemakers, director of a Council on Aging, Council on Aging outreach workers. Mandated reporters who fail to report elder abuse may be subject to a fine.
Mandated reporters (not subject to fine):
Executive Directors of Homecare Corporations, Homemakers, Home Health Aides, Care Managers or other staff of Homecare Corporations, Licensed Home Health or Homemaker Agency.