Reporting Elder Abuse and Neglect
Elder abuse is a widespread problem that only stands to get worse as the baby boomer generation continues to age. By some estimates, only one in fourteen acts of elder abuse are reported. Reporting suspected abuse is critical and can save another's health, dignity, and even their life. If you believe that someone you love is suffering at the hands of a caregiver, you should report the abuse immediately.
Under California law, certain individuals are considered mandated reporters, which means they are required to report any incident that reasonably appears to constitute the abuse of an elder or dependent adult. Mandated reporters typically include any authority figure or licensed staff working at a facility that provides care for seniors, any custodian who cares for an elderly individual or a dependent adult, healthcare provider, or standard employee of adult protective services, as well as any person who has taken on the role of caring for a senior or dependent adult regardless of whether that person receives compensation. Mandated reporters have to report both actual and suspected elder abuse and neglect. Mandated reporters can report elder abuse and neglect immediately either in person or by phone. They should follow up any verbal report with a written report within two days.
If you suspect abuse at a skilled nursing facility or residential care facility for the elderly, you should report your concerns to the following agencies:
- Local law enforcement, either the police department, sheriff's department, or the local District Attorney's office;
- Office of State Attorney General, Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse;
- Long-term Care Ombudsman Program;
- Adult Protective Services;
- Department of Public Health, Licensing and Certification; and/or
- Community Care Licensing, Department of Social Services.
In addition to reporting abuse to the appropriate agencies, it is also important to contact an attorney who is well versed in elder abuse litigation. The individuals and facilities responsible for abuse should be held accountable for their negligent and/or willfully malicious behavior. At a minimum, it may prevent the abuse/neglect from occurring to someone else's loved one in the future.
For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced elder abuse and neglect attorney, please call us directly at (866) 338-7079, or click here to submit your inquiry online.