Elder Abuse Awareness

Elder Abuse Awareness

Let us introduce you to a few of the elders we have assisted (the names have been changed in order to protect privacy).

Mary is an 83 year old U.S. Marine Veteran who suffers from a mental health illness. Unfortunately, she decided to stop taking her prescription medications. In this case of self-neglect, Mary was not making decisions that would maintain her own safety. She became paranoid, agitated and delusional. The change in her behavior not only alienated her from family, but it also put her at risk of losing her apartment. OCES’ Protective Services (PS) received a report on Mary and intervened. The PS Worker (PSW) was able to connect Mary to the needed resources that helped her to resume taking her medications, thus, stabilizing her behavior and enabling her to remain living independently in the community.

Anna, age 84, was hospitalized due to a fall that resulted in a broken pelvis. OCES’ PS received a report on Anna indicating that she had endured abuse by her alcoholic husband for many years and was looking for help. The PSW met with Anna at the nursing facility where she was recovering after her hospital stay; Anna disclosed that things progressively became worse. Her husband Ray was not only physically abusing her; Anna also suffered emotional abuse from him for years including, screaming, calling her names, and controlling behaviors. Anna would like to walk away from her relationship with Ray, because she knows it is an abusive one, but isn’t able to because she is financially dependent on her husband. Ray did not visit her in the hospital and indicated that he did not want her to return home. The PSW discussed her options for emergency placement and housing. Anna would rather relocate instead of having her husband removed from the home. Anna received assistance with referrals and housing applications; she applied to elderly housing and assisted living. At the close of the investigation, Anna remained almost ready for discharge from the facility, was receiving counseling, had support from her children and assistance with planning for her future.

Help us to eliminate elder abuse. If you know an elder who is being mistreated, neglected, or harmed in any way, call OCES’ Protective Services staff at 508 584-1561, or the Massachusetts Elder Abuse Hotline at 800-922-2275.

Return to the Summer 2012 Newsletter