Massachusetts Protective Services follows a policy of “self determination” when investigating abuse complaints. If an elder is “of capacity,” even while being influenced by an abuser, the elder can “self-determine” the scope of protective service’s abuse investigation, limiting the people investigators contact when they research the complaint. Their reports may be based on incomplete, false or biased information and available to other agencies, but kept secret from those directly affected. The result: perpetrators can flourish — with the help of protective services!
Last summer, legislators voted a special commission to investigate Massachusetts Elder Protective Services and issue a report by June 30, 2013. This special commission has yet to convene. Contact your legislators. Tell them you want action to stop elder abuse now.
Kendra Cooper is an elder services attorney in Woburn.