If you suspect that someone you know is suffering from elder abuse, it’s essential to take immediate action. Whether the older adult has disclosed the abuse or you found evidence on your own, the situation needs to be taken seriously. If left unaddressed, the abuse likely will worsen.
Where to File a Report
Financial, physical and sexual abuse are crimes that can be prosecuted. There are also circumstances when neglect and emotional abuse can result in criminal prosecution, depending on the situation.
The important thing to know is that you shouldn’t face the situation of abuse without professional assistance. Contacting local or state resources should be the first step. You can lean on the experience of people who know how to resolve the situation safely.
All states have reporting systems that are used to accept reports and investigate allegations. In most situations, you should contact Adult Protective Services (APS) for guidance on filing a report. Look for the contact information under the Department of Human or Social Services for your state.
Another option is to use the Eldercare Locator service by calling 1-800-677-1116. This resource will help you determine the appropriate agency located in the area where the person resides. Make sure that you have the zip code available when you call.
If you have evidence of a crime, don’t overlook the importance of filing a police report. When someone is in immediate danger, it is always best to call 911.
How Report Information is Used
When you file a report, you need to include as much information as possible to help with the investigation. Focus on facts and details, including name, address, phone number and other relevant information for the victim and the alleged abuser.
All of the provided information will be kept confidential. There’s no need to hold back any details that could shed light on the situation. The agency will use the information to complete an investigation and move forward with prosecution if warranted.
Do you need help finding the right contact information to file an abuse report? Email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal advice.