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Protective Services

The Department of Aging is responsible for oversight and implementation of the Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA) for individuals over the age of 60. The passage of the protective services law reinforced Pennsylvania's commitment to:

  • Provide access to services necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of older adults (age 60+) who lack the capacity to protect themselves and who are at imminent risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment; 
  • Safeguard older people's rights while providing the protective services needed; 
  • Provide for detection, reduction, correction or elimination of abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment; 
  • Establish a program of protective services for older adults who need them; and 
  • Educate the public as to the availability of services and create an awareness of the problem. 

Mandatory Abuse Reporting

The Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA), which was amended by Act 13 of 1997, mandates reporting requirements on suspected abuse.  Any employee or administrator of a facility who suspects abuse is mandated to report the abuse. All reports of abuse should be reported to the local area agency on aging (AAA) and licensing agencies. If the suspected abuse is sexual abuse, serious physical injury, serious bodily injury, or suspicious death as defined under OAPSA, the law requires additional reporting to the Department of Aging and local law enforcement.

Criminal History Background Checks 

OAPSA, as amended by Act 169 of 1996 and Act 13 of 1997, mandates that specific types of facilities require applicants for employment to submit their applications with a report of criminal history record information. 


Statewide Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-800-490-8505 

Any person who believes that an older adult is being abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned may call the elder abuse hotline. The hotline is open 24 hours a day.