Protective Services

I’m in my 70s and live alone in my own home. Recently, my home sustained serious damage during a winter storm and when rescue crews arrived, they identified not only storm damage but significant issues with hoarding that blocked off rooms, the doors and the heating units leading to a serious fire risk.

I recognize that I like to collect items and believe that my collections may have gotten a little too big for my home. I didn’t see my collections as a fire risk, or not being able to exit the home in an emergency as I demonstrated I could climb over my items to reach my door; but I thought I’d take the opportunity while my home was getting repaired to discard and donate many of my items. I recognized that this was a very emotionally difficult moment for me as the items had sentimental value and I also agreed to see a counselor to help me with my anxiety around cleaning up my home.

To this day, I continue to make progress on cleaning out my home with support from family, friends Protective Services and other professionals.”


Elder abuse and neglect happen all too often. Aging Services of North Central Massachusetts is doing something about these challenges. Our Protective Services team investigates reports of elder abuse and neglect, and intervenes when possible, to offer older adults a choice to live in safe, supportive environments, with access to the help and services they need.


Elder abuse refers to intentional or neglectful acts by an individual that leads to or may lead to, the harm of a vulnerable older adult. It takes many forms, including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; financial exploitation; caretaker neglect; or self-neglect.

Anyone can call and make a referral 24 hours a day through the state’s Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-800-922-2275. All referrals are treated confidentially.


Reporting Elder Abuse: Call 1-800-922-2275 or Submit a Report Online

If you suspect that an older adult is being mistreated or is neglecting their own care, you should immediately report your suspicions. Some people—like first responders, medical professionals, and social workers—are mandated reporters, but anyone can and should report suspicions of elder abuse.

The Executive Office of Elder Affairs staffs an Elder Abuse Hotline to simplify the process for reporting. All calls (day or night, 7 days a week) go directly to the Massachusetts-based call center (1-800-922-2275) regardless of where the reporter or the elder lives. While the initial intake is centralized, all reports are referred to, and handled by trained professionals at local Protective Services agencies like MHCC for screening, investigation, and service planning.


This is a free service for older adults 60+ who are experiencing abuse, neglect (including self-neglect), or financial exploitation in North Central Massachusetts.

File a Report

Click the button below to be redirected to the official Massachusetts website to report elder abuse.

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