We all have the responsibility to report elder abuse and neglect if we suspect it. Of course, if you believe that an elder is in a life-threatening situation, you should immediately call 911 and Adult Protective Services. However, if there doesn’t appear to be immediate danger to the elder, you should instead, report your suspicions to both the Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman and the California Department of Public Health.
If you suspect an elder is being abused outside of a long-term care facility, such as in a private residence, contact your local Adult Protective Services Agency. APS provides assistance to adults and elderly who are functionally impaired, and who may be victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation. All APS agencies in California have a 24/7 hotline that may be called to report suspected abuse.
In San Diego County, you may also contact: San Diego County Aging and Independent Services 9335 Hazard Way, Suite 100 San Diego, CA 92123 (858) 495-5660, or the Eldercare Locator help line at 1-800-677-1116.
When you decide to call to report your suspicions, you will likely be asked to provide some specific information and answer a few questions which may include some of the following:
*Name and location of the elder you’re concerned about.
*Contact information for the elder you suspect is being abused/neglected.
*Are you aware of medical problems they may suffer from (confusion, dementia, etc)?
*Have you witnessed abuse?
*Your name, and contact information (though in many cases your anonymity may be protected).
*What, specifically, leads you to believe that an elder may be a victim of abuse?
We all have an obligation to report elder abuse whenever we suspect it. By law, those working in skilled nursing homes or long term care facilities are mandated to report suspected abuse. If fact failure by a mandated reporter to report abuse can be considered a crime in California.
If you suspect that a friend, family member, or loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, or elder neglect, contact an experienced California elder abuse lawyer to help evaluate your case and advise you how to proceed. San Diego based elder abuse attorney, Christopher Walton has years of experience providing caring, compassionate representation to victims of elder abuse and their families. Call (866) 338-7079 for a confidential consultation.