Elders who are abused, neglected, exploited, or are unable to care for themselves can receive support ranging from counseling and shelter to legal services.
Elder abuse is an act or omission which results in physical or emotional injury, or financial loss to a person over the age of 60. This includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, caretaker neglect, financial exploitation, and self-neglect. 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 or file online. The identity of the reporter is always confidential.
Certain individuals are considered mandated reporters and required by law to report elder abuse. Mandated reporters of elder abuse include: physicians, physician assistants, nurses, medical interns, coroners, dentists, podiatrists, osteopaths, social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, family counselors, police, probation officers, EMTs, firefighters, directors of home health aide agencies, directors of homemaker agencies, directors of assisted living residences, case managers, health aides, homemakers, directors of Councils on Aging, and Councils on Aging outreach workers. Mandated reporters who fail to report elder abuse may be subject to a fine.
Mandated Reporters should also call the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275 or file online to report cases of abuse. Following the verbal report, a mandated reporter must submit the Mandated Reporter Form within 48 hours. The form should be faxed to Bristol’s Protective Services unit at (774) 425-0445.
Bristol Elder Services investigates reports of abuse and provides protective services to elders residing in the following communities: Acushnet, Attleboro, Berkley, Dartmouth, Dighton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Gosnold, Mansfield, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, North Attleboro, Norton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Rochester, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton, and Westport.