Monday, April 14, 2008

Massachusetts Elder Abuse

The number of elderly residents being abused or neglected is on the rise in Massachusetts, and advocates for the elderly say the state is not properly funding a program that was designed to protect vulnerable seniors.

Elder service agencies northwest of Boston say they do not have enough money to run the state-sanctioned protective services program, so they are forced to pull funds from other important programs. As state officials work on next year's budget, advocates for seniors are putting on a full-court press to draw attention to the problem.

The protective services program responds to reports of elders in situations that include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, neglect by a caregiver in the home, self-neglect, and financial exploitation.

In fiscal year 2005, the state received 11,503 reports of elder abuse, all of which were reviewed and investigated by local agencies. Of those, 3,713 were confirmed cases of abuse. In fiscal year 2007, the number of cases rose to 14,197 and of those, 4,292 were confirmed. Advocates for the elderly say the numbers continue to rise each year.
Source: Elder abuse up in state

See also:
Massachusetts Senior Citizens

Client Saved from Guardianship Abuse


Anonymous said...

What happens in those many more situations where elder abuse is not found? My experience has been that there are family members that charge the caregiver(s) with abuse which really amounts to harassment of the caregiver. The violence transacted against me in caring for my parents has been unbelievable yet when the unfounded complaints were in vestigated and found to be completely without merit no counter action was ever taken against those family members responsible for the unfounded complaint. Who protects the caregiver(s)? Answer... No one.

Yersinia Pestis said...

I reported a case of elder abuse of my mother, a capable senior, by relatives (a son and his wife) who are her live-in care givers even though they lived in their own home less than 2 miles away prior to moving in with her. (I am, as well, required by law to report this.) My mother met with the agency investigator and after having the process fully explained to her and her questions answered, signed the paperwork requesting an investigation. Based on her comments, it was determined that there was likely serious financial exploitation, neglect, and controlling behaviors. As soon as the abusers were notified of the investigation, my mother, apparently pressured by them, asked that the investigation be stopped. Under Massachusetts State Law, MGLc 19A, the investigation must be stopped if the abused elder requests it. The problem with the law is that abusers who are guilty of controlling behavior simply force or pressure the elder to request that the investigation be stopped leaving the elder vulnerable to further abuse by the abusers. In the case of my mother, the abuse continues and there seems to be no avenue to mitigate it. This is a part of the law which needs to be revised as soon as possible.

calstategop said...

See? Thats what happens when you depend on the government.