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  Taryn Lee-Turgeon
  Protective Services Director

 
   
June is Elder Abuse and Awareness Month
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, elder abuse is defined as the neglect, physical harm, psychological harm or financial exploitation of an adult over the age of 60. As the older members of our community face the complexities associated with aging, they may become increasingly dependent upon support from others for their well being. This need creates circumstances in which older adults become highly susceptible to becoming a victim of scams, bullying, or being taken advantage of by those closest to them. It can happen to anyone. The abuser could be a caregiver, a family member, or someone else close to the elder, including medical professionals. The abuse can take place in a variety of places, including in the home or in a facility.

In acknowledgement that June is Elder Abuse Awareness month, GSSSI would like to take this moment to not only speak about what elder abuse is, but also how to recognize the signs and how to report it. We hope that by sharing this information we can continue to empower individuals within our community to speak out and help us prevent situations of abuse and neglect. 
What types of elder abuse are there?
Abuse of elders takes many different forms that include:

 
Physical Abuse
Emotional Abuse
Sexual Abuse 
Caretaker  neglect 
Financial exploitation 
Self Neglect
Signs of Abuse:
Signs and symptoms of abuse can vary. At first, some signs may be very obvious while others may be more subtle and hard to recognize. Older people living with abuse may be afraid or embarrassed to talk about it. But if you keep your eyes open and know what to look for, you can help make sure your friends and loved ones stay safe. Signs of abuse can be present through an increase in abnormal behavior expressed by the elder such as increased anxiety, seclusion and contact avoidance. More visible signs of abuse can be present with physical marks like bruises and skin wounds. Signs of elder abuse can be challenging at times to clearly identify, however, any suspicion of abuse should be reported immediately even if the signs are unclear.

How to report Elder Abuse: 
If you suspect that an elderly person is at risk, whether that be from a caregiver that is not able or willing to meet their needs, or they are being preyed upon financially or emotionally, it’s important to speak up. Anyone can report elder abuse and every community in Massachusetts is covered by a designated Protective Service Agency that look into situations that meet the criteria for abuse or neglect.

To file a complaint you are urged to use the Massachusetts Central Intake Unit at 1-800-922-2275.
All reports will be referred to and handled by the local Protective Service Agency. 

 
The Central Intake Unit is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
 
If you would like to report suspected abuse online, you can do so by following the enclosed link here: To Report Online 

It is important to note that all calls are confidential and we do not release information on who our referral sources are.
https://ncea.acl.gov/ 
The NCEA, directed by the U.S. Administration on Aging, is committed to helping national, state, and local partners in the field of elder abuse to ensure that older Americans will live with dignity, integrity, independence, and without abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

 
https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Index.aspx 
The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, connects older adults and their families to services.
 

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/topics/elder-abuse 
The National Institute of Health provides a collection of articles about topics such a how to avoid scams, how to talk to your doctor about sensitive subjects and more.

 
https://www.ovc.gov/
The OVC was established to oversee diverse programs that benefit victims of crime. The OVC Web site has a page specifically for victims of elder abuse and links to many agencies that will assist a senior following a victimization

 
https://ltcombudsman.org/
This Resource Center provides support, technical assistance, and training to the 53 state Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs and their statewide networks of almost 600 regional (local) programs. The Center’s objectives are to enhance the skills, knowledge, and management capacity of the state programs to enable them to handle resident complaints and represent resident interests (individual and systemic advocacy)

 
https://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_aging/  
The ABA Commission on Law and Aging works to strengthen and secure the legal rights, dignity, autonomy, quality of life, and quality of care of elders by supporting and initiating research, policy development, technical assistance, advocacy, education, and training

GSSSI Current Job Openings
(Click on the job title below for further details)

"Meals-on-Wheels" Substitute Driver

 

Administrative Assistant - Massachusetts Family Caregiver Program

 

Billing Specialist

 

Geriatric Support Services Coordinator - Bilingual Spanish

 

Long Term Services and Supports Case Manager

 

Nutrition Program Director

 

Protective Services Case Manager - Bilingual Spanish

 

Registered Nurse - Adult Family Care Program

 

Registered Nurse - Personal Care Management Program

 

Registered Nurse - State Home Care Program

GSSSI wants to acknowledge and give thanks to the following individuals, businesses and community partners that have donated to our programs during this epidemic:

 

Community Foundation of Western Mass


Through the generosity of donors, GSSSI is able to meet the increased needs being placed upon older adults and persons with disabilities during this pandemic. Donations have allowed us the opportunity to expand our capability for purchasing additional KN-95 masks for our Home Delivered Meal Drivers, purchasing additional food supplies for the community and acquiring technology to assist in remote services. 

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Greater Springfield Senior Services · 66 Industry Ave · Suite 9 · Springfield, MA 01104-3590 · USA