Elder Protective Services
Elders as a group tend to be more socially isolated and report feelings of loneliness more than others. As friends and family no longer visit in person and with social programs at local COAs and other programs closed, these feelings of isolation and loneliness can increase. Fear and anxiety can lead to decreased appetite, exacerbation of medical conditions, increased alcohol and substance use, inability to sleep, and susceptibility to abuse, neglect and exploitation.
With stay in place orders and elders being isolated, there is a risk for an increase in domestic violence if the elder lives with an abuser. The need for early intervention is critical to prevent significant harm. Of the 22 law enforcement agencies across the United States that responded to NBC News’ request for data on domestic violence calls, 18 departments said they had seen a rise in March. Houston police received about 300 more domestic violence calls in March than they did in February, a roughly 20 percent increase. Police in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, fielded 517 additional calls about domestic violence in March compared to the same month last year, an 18 percent jump, while Phoenix police received nearly 200 more calls, an increase of nearly 6 percent. The need for early intervention is critical to prevent significant harm.
Increased financial pressures can lead to exploitation and vulnerability to COVID related scams. Securing assets is critical to prevent long term consequences. Caregivers may have difficulty continuing because they are no longer able to provide care as they did before the current crisis. They can call LifePath for help, which could include Protective Services.
LifePath Elder Protective Services is an essential service and we continue to receive and investigate reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. We can help vulnerable elders remain safe during this time. We can provide an array of intervention strategies to prevent, alleviate, or remedy those risks that make elders unsafe.
How do I report elder abuse?
Anyone may report suspected cases of abuse. All calls and the identity of the reporter are confidential.
Elder Protective Services 24/7 Hotline: 1-800-922-2275
If you are concerned about an older adult (age 60 or older), and have reason to believe they are a victim of elder abuse, neglect, self-neglect or financial exploitation, call the Massachusetts-based Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275, or file a report online at Mass.gov.