Protecting our seniors.
The Department of Elderly Affairs (DEA) Protective Services Unit is responsible for investigating complaints of elderly abuse of Rhode Islanders 60 and older by a family member, caregiver or person with duty of care. Abuse may include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, financial exploitation, or abandonment. Rhode Island law requires any person who has reasonable cause to believe that an elderly person has been abused to report it to the DEA. Failure to report abuse of a person 60 or older can result in a fine of up to $1,000. The DEA Protective Services unit develops a care plan to prevent additional abuse and addresses the elder’s social service needs. If further intervention is needed, a referral for follow up is given to the Case management agency.
Self-Neglect occurs when a person is no longer able to care for himself/herself. Reports of self-neglect are also made to the DEA Protective Services Unit. The senior’s needs are assessed and necessary services are offered in conjunction with the case management agency.
Early intervention cases are those referrals given to the case management agency by the Department of Elderly Affairs for clients not clearly identified as Abuse or Self-Neglect cases, but there still may be a need for intervention. Under Rhode Island law (R.I.G.L 42-66-10), DEA records pertaining to a person reported to be abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned are confidential and are not deemed public records.
To report the suspected abuse of a senior or disabled adult, contact the DEA Protective Services Unit at 462-0555.
For more information about senior protective services, contact us at 401-349-5760.