Post Content

This year, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) will receive 23,000 reports of elder abuse and neglect – an increase of more than 1,500 over last year.

Eight years ago in recognition of the scope and universality of the issue, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization launched the annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15th.

As Kathy Greenlee, the Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administration at the Administration for Community Living, recently noted “…(A)s the world population of older people grows, so does the problem of elder abuse.  This is a global health problem and it is a community health issue.”

Increasing awareness among people on elder abuse has led to reporting more suspected cases, and accounts for some of the increase in statistics. And the Administration has been collaborating to continue to raise awareness on this important issue in communities across the Commonwealth. Here are just two examples:

  • The Bank Reporting ProjectWorking with the Attorney General’s office and the Massachusetts Bankers Association, EOEA provides training for local bank staff to help them recognize signs of elder financial exploitation, and assistance if seniors are unable to manage their own finances or are being victimized by a family-member, friend or caregiver.
  • Local Protective Services Training: With more people living into their 80s, and experiencing self-neglect or possible abuse at the hands of their caregivers, we all have an obligation to recognize the “red flags,” and reach out to help. That’s why EOEA’s Protective Services staff have developed a series of workshops for local Councils on Aging that help staff recognize signs of domestic violence, sexual and financial abuse, and what to do if they think a senior is being victimized.  Training includes strategies for overcoming shame and fear that people who are being victimized or who are suffering from cognitive impairment may feel in acknowledging problems.  Regional Protective Services staff also work with local sheriffs, police and other agencies to increase awareness of consumer exploitation, fraud, self-neglect and other signs of victimization.

For more information about reporting abuse, please check out EOEA’s Protective Services website at: http://www.mass.gov/elders/service-orgs-advocates/protective-services-program.html

For more information about recognizing signs of abuse, click on to: http://ncea.aoa.gov/Resources/Publication/docs/NCEA_RedFlags_web508.pdf

Written By:


Secretary of the Office of Elder Affairs

Deputy Communications Director, Office of Health and Human Services

Recent Posts

People with Disabilities Can Enjoy Accessible Broadway In Boston posted on Aug 18

People with Disabilities Can Enjoy Accessible Broadway In Boston

I am a public educator for the Blind Reintegration for Independence, Development, and Growth for Elders (BRIDGE) Program at the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB). On nights and weekends, I usher at the Boston Opera House also on Washington Street in Downtown Boston. Each   …Continue Reading People with Disabilities Can Enjoy Accessible Broadway In Boston

Veterans: Find Your Honor in Massachusetts posted on Aug 7

Veterans: Find Your Honor in Massachusetts

All Massachusetts veterans and service members are entitled to certain honors and dignified burials. The Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) has the resources veterans and family members need to ensure the Commonwealth’s veterans receive the respect they deserve. Cemeteries, Medals, and the accessibility of Military   …Continue Reading Veterans: Find Your Honor in Massachusetts

Refugee Entrepreneurs Growing Our Economy posted on Aug 5

Refugee Entrepreneurs Growing Our Economy

Nothing embodies the American spirit quite like entrepreneurship. Like America, entrepreneurship thrives on hard work, perseverance, optimism, and an unyielding capacity for renewal. It is because of these qualities that people from around the world dream of a life in America as an independent business   …Continue Reading Refugee Entrepreneurs Growing Our Economy