The Board of Registration of Psychologists has been asked to bring to the attention all licensees that there has been a change in Elder Abuse mandatory reporting requirements, as per M.G.L. ch. 19A, section 14. This change went into effect July 1, 2004. Previously, a psychologist was required to report instances of abuse or neglect of an elder person (60 or older) to the Dept. of Elder Affairs. The change in the statute added the requirement to report self-neglect of elder persons (60 or older). Self-neglecting elders are persons who have unmet essential needs for food, clothing, safe and secure shelter, personal care, supervision and medical care that result in serious harm, or in the immediate risk of serious harm, and the inability of the elder to remain safely in the community.

Mandated reporters are required to immediately make a verbal elder abuse report whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that an elderly person is suffering from, or has died from abuse. Abuse includes physical, sexual or emotional abuse, caretaker neglect, financial exploitation and now, self-neglect. During normal business hours, elder abuse reports should be made to the appropriate local Protective Services agency. After hours reports are made to the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275. Within 48 hours of making a verbal report, a written report is required on a prescribed form that is available from Protective Services agencies.

Mandated reporters have immunity from criminal or civil liability for making an elder abuse report, unless he/she is the perpetrator of the abuse. Also, mandated reporters are subject to a fine of up to $1000 for failing to make an elder abuse report.

Designated Protective Services Agencies pdf format of elder_abuse_offices.pdf