Connecticut Officials Launch New Elder Justice Hotline – The Newtown Bee

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HARTFORD — Attorney General William Tong, Aging and Disabilities Commissioner Amy Porter, Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, and the Coalition for Elder Justice in Connecticut this week launched the Elder Justice Hotline, a “one stop shop” for older in adults in Connecticut in need of information, aid, and justice.
Elder justice issues can range from age-based discrimination in the workplace to scams and frauds, abuse, neglect, and exploitation. As a result, no single state agency can answer every question. The Consumer Assistance Unit of the Office of the Attorney General will staff the hotline and refer matters to the appropriate agencies across state government.
The hotline can be reached at 860-808-5555. Individuals may also access information about the hotline, resources, and an online complaint portal at portal.ct.gov/ag/elderhotline.
“If you have been the victim of a scam, or have been neglected, exploited, or abused, we are here to help. It’s hard sometimes to know who to call, so we want to make it easy. The Elder Justice Hotline can answer your questions, connect you with trained investigators, and help you access aid, support, and justice,” said AG Tong said July 19 during the formal announcement unveiling the new action.
Porter said she and others feel the hotline “will make it that much easier for older adults and their families to make connections that support their independence with dignity and respect.”
The Coalition for Elder Justice in Connecticut is a multidisciplinary, statewide group of private and public stakeholders working together to prevent elder abuse and protect the rights, independence, security, and well-being of vulnerable elders.
DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull called the new hotline “another important tool in the toolbox for state agencies to work together to protect consumers from age-based discrimination in the workplace, scams and frauds targeting older adults, elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.”
Reports of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation received through the hotline will be referred to the Protective Services for the Elderly program of the Department of Social Services. DSS social workers investigate reports of elder maltreatment and neglect, including self-neglect, and intervene with services and connections to community partners.
Dr Deidre S. Gifford, Department of Social Services commissioner and Department of Public Health acting commissioner, said, “Unfortunately, older adults are especially vulnerable to serious maltreatment, including physical, emotional, and even sexual abuse, along with neglect and financial exploitation.
“Our protective services social workers help adults 60 and older by investigating allegations and providing or arranging for services to alleviate and prevent further maltreatment,” Gifford added. “We also provide conservator of person and estate services when vulnerable older adults have no one to care for them or their interests.”
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella noted, “This hotline will help law enforcement, as well as family and friends, protect our most targeted and vulnerable population. Our older populations sometimes have difficulty and fear when they are trying to report that they are a victim. This will be a tremendous help.”
The Office of the Attorney General and the Coalition for Elder Justice in Connecticut have partnered with the following state agencies and organizations to support the hotline: the Department of Banking, Department of Consumer Protection, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Department of Public Health, Department of Social Services/Protective Services for the Elderly, Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Police Training Academy, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and the State Unit on Aging/Department of Aging and Disability Services.
For additional information, the AG Tong’s office can be reached at 860-808-5318 or attorney.general@ct.gov, followed on Twitter at @AGWilliamTong, and found on Facebook at CT Attorney General.
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