Massachusetts seniors are on the front lines of consumer protection, health care, housing, age and disability discrimination, and domestic violence. The protection of Massachusetts seniors requires a comprehensive approach, coordinating legal, prevention, and advocacy strategies with the state, local and private agencies committed to elder safety. The AGO has forged partnerships with elder organizations to raise the profile of elder protection issues and provide training to help law enforcement and elder care professionals identify, investigate, and assist in the prosecution of elder abuse and financial scams.

 

Reporting Elder Abuse

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) has established 22 designated Protective Services agencies throughout the Commonwealth to respond to reports of elder abuse, which may include physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect by a caregiver, self-neglect, and/or financial exploitation. Elder abuse reports may be made to the appropriate designated Protective Services agency (during normal business hours) or the statewide Elder Abuse Hotline, at 1-800-922-2275 (after-hours, weekends and holidays).

The law ( M.G.L. c. 19A, s. 15) defines certain professionals as "mandated reporters," those required to report suspected incidents of abuse. Those mandated reporters who fail to make an elder abuse report may be fined up to $1000. Mandated reporters may not be held liable in any civil or criminal action resulting from the report, provided the mandated reporter did so in good faith and did not "perpetrate, perpetrate, inflict or cause" the abuse. Anyone can make an elder abuse report, and is granted the same immunity if they made the report in good faith.