|Photo credit: www.atlanticphilanthropies.org|
Knowing the 411 to protect our elders.
Do you know the basic signs of elder abuse or what to do with a concern?
We ask that if you suspect a family member, friend or neighbor is being abused or is living unsafely, please consult with Protective Services (PS).
· SIGNS OF ABUSE
o physical – bruises, limping, bleeding.
o More subtle signs may be that the older adult appears afraid around particular family members, crying frequently, or are jumpy when they are around certain people.
o If you’re a neighbor, some signs may be:
§ you see cars appearing at strange hours or hear a lot of yelling, or
§ if an elder tells you that they’ve been abused or that their adult child, relative or friend is stealing from them.
· NEGLECT and SELF-NEGLECT
o if they appear to be wandering and lost, if they look disheveled or that they aren’t taking care of their personal hygiene, if they’ve had a very sudden shift in their mental status and all of a sudden appear confused. If you notice that there have been small fires in their houses – a lot of our self neglect cases are around memory loss and elder’s starting to leave their stoves or ovens on
· PROTECTIVE SERVICES
o PS reports are confidential, meaning that we will not tell the elder who reported them to Protective Services
· RIGHT TO REFUSE
o Elders are allowed to refuse PS interventions if they are found to have capacity to make their own decisions, even if it still appears that their situation is unsafe.
PROTECTIVE SERVICES HOTLINE
o Somerville/Cambridge Elder Services (SCES)
Mon-Fri, 9 am – 5 pm: 617-628-2601, ext. 3420
o Statewide Protective Services hotline: 1 800-922-2275