Monday, July 19, 2021
ATTORNEY GENERAL TONG LAUNCHES ELDER JUSTICE HOTLINE
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong, Aging and Disabilities Commissioner Amy Porter, Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull and the Coalition for Elder Justice in Connecticut today 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, elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. As a result, no one state agency can answer every question. The Consumer Assistance Unit of the Office of the Attorney General will staff the hotline and refer matters as appropriate to agencies across state government.
“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 Attorney General Tong.
“We are pleased this hotline will make it that much easier for older adults and their families to make connections that support their independence with dignity and respect,” said Aging and Disability Services Commissioner Amy Porter.
The Coalition for Elder Justice in Connecticut is a multi-disciplinary, 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.
“This is 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,” said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull.
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.
“Unfortunately, older adults are especially vulnerable to serious maltreatment, including physical, emotional and even sexual abuse, along with neglect and financial exploitation,” said Dr. Deidre S. Gifford, Department of Social Services Commissioner and Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner. “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. We also provide conservator of person and estate services when vulnerable older adults have no one to care for them or their interests. We thank Attorney General Tong and his staff for launching the Elder Justice Hotline, which promises to be an important contact point and resource for Connecticut’s older adults and their families and advocates.”
“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,” said Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella.
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:
• CT Department of Banking
• CT Department of Consumer Protection
• CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
• CT Department of Public Health
• CT Department of Social Services – Protective Services for the Elderly
• CT Long-Term Care Ombudsman
• CT Police Training Academy
• CT Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
• State Unit on Aging, Department of Aging and Disability Services