Adult Protective Services

Since 1982, GSSSI has been designated by the Commonwealth as an Adult Protective Services agency responsible for investigating allegations of elder abuse within seventeen (17) cities and towns in Hampden and Hampshire counties.

Elder abuse is any act or omission which results in serious physical or emotional injury to, or financial exploitation of an elder. Every individual age 60 and older living in the community, who suffers physical or emotional injury, is neglected or financially exploited by a person(s) with whom they have an ongoing relationship such as a relative, friend, or caregiver is covered by the law.

  • Physical abuse: non-accidental use of physical force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment or threats of physical abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse: non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
  • Emotional Abuse: non-accidental infliction of serious emotional injury including severe anxiety, fear, depression, or withdrawal.
  • Neglect: intentional or non-intentional failure by a caregiver to provide one or more of the necessities essential for physical, intellectual, and emotional well being, such as food, shelter, medical, or personal care.
  • Financial Exploitation: the non-accidental act or omission by another person without the consent of the elder which causes substantial monetary or property loss to the elder, or substantial monetary or property gain to the other person.
  • Self Neglect: failure or refusal by an elder to provide for one or more of their essential needs including food, clothing, shelter, personal care, supervision, and medical care.

How to Report?

If you have reason to believe you or someone you know, age 60 and older is being abused, neglected, or exploited, you can call the Elder Abuse Hotline by dialing 1-800-922-2275.

All Mandated Reporters have 48 hours to submit a completed a mandated reporter form to GSSSI. Download Mandated Reporter Form

For non urgent matters, an online referral can be made by submitting our Online Referral Form. Please note that you should not file the online referral form if the elder is in need of an emergency intervention or needs immediate attention. For those matters, please call the Elder Abuse Hotline by dialing 1-800-922-2275. When completing an online referral, it is important to provide as much information as possible and all required fields must completed in order for the referral to be submitted.

If an elder is in need of emergency medical or psychiatric evaluation, please call your local Police Department or Behavioral Crisis Intervention Program for immediate assistance.

Who is required by Law to Report?

Mandated reporters of elder abuse include:
Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Medical Interns, Coroners, Dentists, Podiatrists, Osteopaths, Social Workers, Occupational and Physical Therapists, Psychologists, Family Counselors, Police, Probation Officers, EMTs, Firefighters, Directors of a Home Health Aide Agency, Directors of a Homemaker Agency, Directors of an Assisted Living Residence, Case Managers, Health Aides, Homemakers, Directors of a Council on Aging, Council on Aging Outreach workers. Mandated Reporters who fail to report elder abuse may be subject to a fine.

Anyone reporting alleged abuse in good faith shall not be liable in any civil or criminal action provided they did not inflict the abuse and the report was made in good faith. The identity of the reporter is kept confidential.

What happens after a report is made?

Once the report is determined to fall within the program statute, a Protective Services Investigator will be assigned. If a report does not meet the criteria set forth in the statute, the Protective Services staff may make referrals to other programs or agencies. Protective Services staff, sensitive to the needs of the elders, will balance the mandate to protect  the elder with an elder's right to self determination. If there is reasonable cause to believe abuse has occurred, a case will be opened and protective services will be offered. Protective services may include home care services, medical treatment, counseling, legal services, information and support. A competent elder has the right to accept or refuse protective services.

Greater Springfield Senior Services Protective Services catchment area includes the following cities and towns within Western Massachusetts:

- Agawam, Belchertown, Brimfield, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Granby, Hampden, Holland, Holyoke, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, South Hadley, Springfield, Wales, Ware, West Springfield and Wilbraham