If you think that an older person is being mistreated, taken advantage of, or neglected, you need to do something. If there is immediate danger, call 911.
If the threat of danger is not immediate, try talking to the older person about your concerns. Encourage them to seek help. Offer your support and be respectful. Understand that these situations can be incredibly complicated. It can be very difficult for an older person to recognize that they are being mistreated. This is especially true if the situation involves a family member.
If the older person agrees to seek help, you can help them call Legal Services for the Elderly at 1-800-750-5353 for free and confidential legal advice.
If the older person can’t or won’t seek help, you can report your concerns to Adult Protective Services at 1-800-624-8404. You do not have to prove anything; you just have to report what you are seeing and explain why you are concerned. If your suspicions are confirmed, the authorities will help get the older person to a safe place or set up the appropriate support services. If you aren't sure if you should or must report your concerns to Adult Protective Services, you could call A Helping Voice warm line through the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine at 1-207-805-5555.
Remember: If you are concerned for someone’s immediate safety, call 911!