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Mass. auditor says state needs to improve tracking of elder abuse claims

Diana DiZoglio, Massachusetts state auditor
Courtesy of Diana DiZoglio's campaign
Diana DiZoglio, Massachusetts state auditor

A new report by the Massachusetts auditor says the state needs to do a better job of tracking claims of elder abuse.

The audit follows a previous one in 2018 that found the state's elder affairs office did not report seven incidents of serious abuse to district attorneys' offices.

Tami Gouveia, who is with the office of State Auditor Diana DiZoglio, said the state should have been checking for new claims of elder abuse on a monthly basis, "which would be the true level of monitoring that we would want to have in place to ensure that elders are protected from ongoing and continuing abuse if they're experiencing it."

In a response, the Office of Elder Affairs said, while it's developing a system to automatically check for new claims, it will start actively checking for them.

Gouveia pointed out the new audit covers a two-year period, from 2019 to 2021, when Gov. Charlie Baker was in charge. She said the administration of Gov. Maura Healey may handle things differently.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.