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Ask an expert
Q: I visit my frail, very elderly aunt every week to bring her groceries.
For the last month or so, I have noticed that something is not right and now I am very
concerned. Today she has bruises on her face and upper arms, and when I asked her about
it, she said she fell against the counter. She could not explain further, started crying
and told me that a local handyman had been sleeping in her basement and had been
“bothering her” for money. She said that when she refused, he got very mad and she
became so afraid she gave him her credit card so he would leave her alone. Who do
I report this to?
Ask an expert: Katlyn Blackstone
Director of Community Services at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging
A: You have described what sounds like elder abuse – physical, emotional and financial. Adult Protective Services must be notified; the Elder Abuse Hotline in Maine is 1-800-624-8404. Tell them every detail you know about this situation. I would also recommend you notify the local police and ask them to conduct what is called a “well visit check” on a random basis to keep an eye on the situation. Your aunt’s bank and credit card company will need to be notified as well. It is also time to take some proactive steps to assure your aunt is living in a much safer environment, by having a frank conversation with her about your concerns.
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