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Who addresses elder abuse after it is reported?

As people retire and age, they may be concered with who will care for them when they can no longer care for themselves. Thus, it may be helpful for our Connecticut residents to be aware of who to call or what steps to take if one suspects that an elder, whether it is a family member or friend, is being abused. If one suspects elder abuse is occurring, it is important to call the Connecticut Department of Social Services to report the abuse.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, elder abuse is defined as deliberate mistreatment of an elderly person. This can be physical in nature, can be deliberate neglect such as withholding food and water or deserting the elder, or can be emotional or sexual. Additionally, elder abuse may also include financial exploitation. Elder abuse is not limited to residential facilities and can also happen in the home of the elder by a spouse or some other relative.

The protective services for the elderly will ask for information such as the name, address, location and details about the alleged elder abuse. All information provided is confidential, and following the intake a caseworker may be assigned to perform an investigation. The Adult Protective Services is the agency primarily responsible for investigating allegations of elder abuse.

In addition to the APS, local law enforcement may also investigate cases of elder abuse, particularly when sexual abuse is alleged. If elder abuse is alleged to have occurred at a residential facility, then the Connecticut Long-Term Care Ombudsman office will look into the allegations.

Abuse against an elder is difficult to fathom, but sadly, such abuse routinely occurs. For anyone interested in learning more about nursing home neglect or elder abuse, they may find it helpful to contact a personal injury law firm.

Source: Administration for Community Living, "Administration on Aging," Accessed May 5, 2015

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