Elder abuse occurs when a person who is 60 or older is subjected to physical abuse, financial exploitation (misuse of the older person’s money or property), intimidation, or sexual abuse, or is deprived by a caregiver of food or needed medication or services. CLS does not generally handle elder abuse cases, but other resources are available:
- Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
- Older Adult Protective Services (OAPS) is a program which investigates reports of abuse or neglect involving victims who are age 60 or older. OAPS will also investigate situations where an incapacitated older adult is in imminent danger because he does not have a responsible caregiver and is unable take care of himself. If the OAPS investigation finds that the older adult is in need of protective services, services will be provided to protect the individual from further abuse and to meet the needs which are placing him at risk. In Philadelphia, OAPS is run by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA). Reports may be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (215) 765-9040. Anyone can make a report, and reports are kept confidential.
- The Senior LAWCenter provides free legal advice and representation to older adults (60 and older) to stop abusive situations, including representation in getting Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders.
- For help, Philadelphia residents can call the Intake Line at (215) 988-1242 Monday through Thursday from 10:00–2:00.
- Pennsylvania residents who live outside Philadelphia can call the PA SeniorLAW Helpline at 1-877-PA SR LAW (1-877-727-7529) Monday through Thursday from 10:00–2:00.
- The Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interest of the Elderly (CARIE) provides transportation and accompaniment to court for senior crime victims, help changing locks and securing your home; and referrals to domestic violence agencies, counseling and support groups, safety planning and emotional support. For help, call CARIE at (215) 545-5728. Advocates are available to discuss elder abuse Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 5:00.
- Statewide Elder Abuse Hotline (800) 490-8505
CLS’ Aging and Disabilities Unit is supported in part by funding provided by PCA and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.