Family Violence Division: Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse
Non-emergency Phone Number: (240) 777-4210
Crisis Phone Number: (301) 315-4673
Other Valuable Contact Numbers To Help Prevent Elder Abuse
State's Attorney John J. McCarthy is responsible for having the Office handle all cases of physical and sexual elder and vulnerable adult abuse and neglect systematically as part of the responsibilities of the FVD. Additionally, he is credited with developing the Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Task Force for Montgomery County.
Abuse of the elderly and vulnerable adults is a widespread problem in Montgomery County. With a growing population of seniors and vulnerable adults, we can expect cases of elder abuse to increase sharply. The Montgomery County Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Task Force has joined forces to: prevent elder abuse, raise public awareness about elder abuse, support legislative efforts to establish stronger and better laws, and aggressively investigate and prosecute those who commit elder abuse.
State's Attorney John McCarthy greeting two citizens (pictured right)
What is Abuse?
- Physical: the sustaining of any physical injury as a result of cruel or inhumane treatment or as a result of a malicious act by another person;
- Neglect: the willful deprivation of adequate food, clothing, medical, medical treatment, or rehabilitative therapy, shelter or supervision;
- Self-neglect: the inability of an elderly or vulnerable adult to provide for his/her physical or mental health and well-being;
- Exploitation: the misuse of money, property, or resources for another's benefit.
Who are Among the Abused?
- Vulnerable Adult: an adult age 18 or over, who cannot take care of personal needs because of a physical or mental condition.
- Elderly: a person age 55 or over.
What Services are Available for Abuse Victims, Family Members, or Those at Risk of Being Abused?
- Prevention: Members of the Montgomery County Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Task Force have joined efforts to educate professionals and the community about how to prevent abuse of the elderly and vulnerable adults. For information on available training and speakers, call (240) 777-7300.
- Protection: Adult Protective Services of Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, and the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office work together to receive, investigate, and resolve complaints of abuse.
- Support: Many public and private agencies provide services and resources, including legal assistance, financial planning, foster care, housing services, day care, respite care, transportation, support groups and other services. The Montgomery County Elder Abuse Task Force can help you connect with such support.
- Prosecution: When appropriate, persons who abuse the elderly or vulnerable adults can be prosecuted under Maryland law.
Who to Call?
What are Some of the Possible Signs of Abuse?
- Insufficiently explained burns, cuts, wounds, black and blue marks, bruises or welts
- Unusual injuries
- Dirty, unshaven, unpleasant odor
- Undernourishment, dehydration
- Untreated medical condition Behavioral Signs
- Confusion, forgetfulness
- Fear, helplessness, shame Social Signs
- Isolated, little outside contact
- Violence or drug abuse
- Family with personal problems
- Unable to speak freely
- Unusual bank account activity
- Change in spending habits
- Signature on checks do not match
- Unpaid bills
The Following Listings Are Valuable Contact Numbers
To Help Prevent Elder Abuse:
Adult Protective Services receives and investigates reports of abuse, neglect, self-neglect and exploitation and facilitates access to services for the elderly and vulnerable adults.
Consumer Affairs receives and investigates consumer complaints.
Crisis Center offers 24-hour walk-in or telephone crisis counseling, access to safe shelter, and transportation for victims fleeing from abuser to shelter.
Montgomery County Police Fraud Unit receives and investigates complaints of financial fraud and exploitation of elderly and vulnerable adults.
Montgomery County Police Domestic Violence Unit receives and investigates complaints of physical abuse and neglect of elderly and vulnerable adults by family members.
Montgomery County Police Victim/Witness Assistance Program provides support, information and referral to crime victims and witnesses, and assists in facilitating access to services.
Long Term Care Ombudsman Program receives and investigates complaints of adults residing in licensed facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Sheriff's Office serves protective orders; specialized unit for domestic, familial complaints, and safety planning techniques.
State's Attorney's Office handles criminal prosecutions of physical elder and vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.