Thursday, May 17, 2007

Every day in Massachusetts, 43 new incidents of alleged elder abuse are reported.

Massachusetts, This year, almost 16,000 of these reports will surface. In our 16 community service areas, including this community, our agency received over 500 reports of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation last year.

Unfortunately, abuse of the elderly is on the rise — in part because we now have agencies that investigate these complaints, and a state law that mandates certain professionals to report such abuse.

Nobody wants to read a headline about an elderly person who has been abused. But if we don't fund this program adequately, some cases this coming year will not even be investigated, due to lack of caseworkers.

Sometimes a simple report of abuse is our first warning of life-or-death situations. We cannot afford to turn our back to these problems and hope they will go away.

We at Minuteman Senior Services urge our state senators to make sure the protective services program is adequately funded, and to not leave elders vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

Joan Butler, Executive Director, Minuteman Senior Services

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