> Protective Services

The state Executive Office of Elder Affairs is required by law to administer a system for receiving and investigating reports of elder abuse, and for providing needed protective-services to neglected and abused elders and those otherwise at risk. Elder abuse includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect by a caregiver, self-neglect and financial exploitation. In the Merrimack Valley Elder Services is the designated agency to fulfill these responsibilities.

The goal of the Protective Services program is to remedy or alleviate the crisis and to prevent a recurrence where an elder may be vulnerable to danger or harm. Protective services may include:

  • Home care services
  • Medical treatment
  • Assistance with connecting with legal and counseling options
  • Advocacy & support

A competent elder has the right to accept or refuse protective services.

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 and if so investigate the situation and determine the best course of action to alleviate the risk. All calls are confidential.

Individuals who are required by law to report elder abuse (Mandated Reporters)

Please call the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275 to report cases of abuse.  Following the verbal report, please fill out and submit the Mandated Reporter Form within 48 hours. The form should be returned to the appropriate local protective service agency.

Mandated reporters of elder abuse 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.

There are mandated reporter trainings offered for free throughout the year in various local communities to help mandated reporters understand their reporting responsibilities.

For more information or support, contact our Information and Referral Department at 1-800-892-0890.