SECTION 1. Section 14 of Chapter 19A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:
“Abuse”, an Act or omission which results in serious physical or emotional injury to an elderly person or financial exploitation of an elderly person; or the failure, inability or resistance of an elderly person to provide for him one or more of the necessities essential for safety, physical and emotional well-being without which the elderly person would be unable to safely remain in the community. The term includes compulsive hoarding, which is characterized by the acquisition and retention of large quantities of items and materials, resulting in an extensively cluttered living space that substantially impedes the performance of essential self-care tasks or threatens the health and safety of the resident. Hoarding is often characterized by a lack of insight into the health/safety risks caused by the hoarding. No person shall be considered to be abused or neglected for the sole reason that such person is being furnished or relies upon treatment in accordance with the tenets and teachings of a church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof.
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