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Routing # 211885946

Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse

Pioneer Valley Credit Union is here to help our members and the community in the awareness, detection and prevention of elder abuse.

Older adults are targets of this activity due to their trusting nature, higher wealth in retirement accounts, home ownership and other assets.

In cooperation with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, we would like to assist our members and bring awareness of this growing epidemic.

What Defines Elder Abuse?

The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse defines elder abuse as “any form of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person.”

The majority of elder abuse comes from someone that the elder trusts. This could be a family member, caretaker, neighbor or friend. Elder abuse is divided into the following categories:

  • Physical abuse is physical force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment. It includes assault, battery, and inappropriate restraint.
  • Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an older person.
  • Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of violence by an intimate partner where the violence is used to exercise power and control.
  • Psychological abuse is the willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish by threat, humiliation, or other verbal or nonverbal conduct.
  • Self-neglect is failure to provide for one's own essential needs.
  • Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to fulfill his or her caregiving responsibilities.
  • Financial Exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an older person's funds, property, or resources. This could be done by a stranger or a trusted person.

Signs of Financial Exploitation May Include

  • Lack of affordable amenities, such as food, electricity, medication
  • Identity theft
  • Scams (please see our Identity Theft page for more information)
  • Misuse of funds by an agent appointed under a Power of Attorney
  • Paying extremely high costs for caregiving or companionship
  • Caregiver is in control of the elder’s funds but does not provide for the elder’s needs
  • Elder has signed over property (home, car), made a change in their will, trust or power of attorney but is confused and doesn’t understand why they are doing so
  • Bills aren’t paid on time even though there are enough financial resources to pay bills
  • Bank account shows unusual activity
  • Elder is isolated from friends and/or family
  • Elder is afraid to speak in front of caregiver/companion/family member

Where to Get Help?

If you or someone you know is suffering from any form of elder abuse, please contact your local protective services agency for assistance. The agency that you contact will be determined as to where you reside.

  • Greater Springfield Senior Services Inc. (serving the Greater Springfield area)
  • Highland Valley Elder Services (serving Westfield and surrounding towns)
  • LifePath (serving Northampton and surrounding towns)
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs
  • Massachusetts Elder Abuse Hotline (open 7 days a week/24 hours)
    • Phone: 1-800-922-2275
  • For Connecticut Residents: State Department on Aging

Pioneer Valley Credit Union is Here to Help

As your financial institution and a strong supporter of combating elder abuse, your safety and well-being is of great importance to us. If we suspect that you are being abused in any way, we will do our very best to protect you and your assets.  For more information contact us at 413-733-2800.

You have the right to make your own financial decisions; do not let anyone threaten or intimidate you. If you think someone close to you is taking control of your finances call adult protective service.