Elder abuse and neglect happen all too often, but we’re doing something about these problems. Our Protective Services team investigates reports of elder abuse, caregiver neglect, and self-neglect, and intervenes when possible to offer older adults a choice to live in safe, supportive environments, with access to the help and services they need.
Elder abuse refers to intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that lead to, or may lead to, the harm of a vulnerable older adult. It takes many forms:
When intervention is necessary, our team provides intensive casework services to older adults and their families. Our Protective Services staff also evaluate self-neglect situations, when an elder is having difficulty maintaining their independence at home. Help is available 24 hours a day through the state’s Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-800-922-2275. All referrals are treated confidentially—we never disclose who requested help for an elder—and unless there are questions about competency or outside pressure, individuals can always decline help.
Reporting Elder Abuse: 1-800-922-2275
If you suspect that an older adult is being mistreated or is neglecting their own care, you should immediately report your suspicions. Some people—like first responders, medical professionals, and social workers—are mandated reporters, but anyone can and should report suspicions of elder abuse. Except in rare cases, when referral to the District Attorney is necessary or as requested through court orders, the identity of the reporter is always kept confidential.
The state’s Executive Office of Elder Affairs staffs an Elder Abuse Hotline to simplify the process for reporting. All calls (day or night, 7 days a week) go directly to the Massachusetts-based call center (1-800-922-2275) regardless of the where the reporter or the elder lives. While the initial intake is centralized, all reports are referred to, and handled by, local Protective Services agencies like GLSS for screening, investigation, and service planning.
For complete information on how to file an elder abuse report and to take the first step, please go here: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/report-elder-abuse
If you are a Mandated Reporter and called the Elder Abuse Hotline to file a report, you are required to complete the Mandated Reporter form. If you filed the report online, this step is unnecessary. You can file a report online or access the Mandated Reporter form by using this link: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/report-elder-abuse
Download a Mandated Reporter Form
Clinical and Protective Services Programs
To download, click the Clinical and Protective Services Programs brochure.
This is a free, state-mandated service for older adults who are experiencing abuse or neglect (including self-neglect) in Lynn, Lynnfield, Nahant, Saugus, and Swampscott.
Call 781-599-0110 and ask for Protective Services.
To learn more about aging services in Massachusetts, call 1-800-243-4636 or visit massoptions.org.