Abuse of senior citizens in the United States is a large and sensitive problem. Finding the courage to speak up can be difficult, but it is required by law in some states that you report elder abuse. Here, we will take a look at the best ways you can report elder abuse if you or someone you love is a victim.
Report Elder Abuse: Local and State Authorities
If you or a family member is currently being abused in a nursing home, hospital or assisted living facility, you must seek help as soon as possible. If the situation is so severe that health, well-being and even life is being threatened, contacting the police or dialing 9-1-1 is the best way to report elder abuse.
For emergency situations you need emergency personnel, and every minute spent without seeking help is another minute the abuse is allowed to continue. If you feel you or someone close to you is in immediate danger, is injured or you suspect someone is being abused and injured, it’s imperative to report elder abuse to your local authorities immediately.
Report Elder Abuse: Local and State Agencies
For people who are not in immediate danger, the best way to report elder abuse is by contacting your local state agencies. Each and every state in America has some form of Adult Protective Services in place to report elder abuse. These agencies are specifically designed to deal with these types of situations.
The National Center on Elder Abuse provides phone numbers to Adult Protective Services for all 50 states. People are encouraged to call these numbers to report elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. You can also receive state specific information by dialing the national Eldercare Locator hotline.
Absolute proof is not required to report elder abuse. Every reporting number you call is toll-free, you can call hotlines anonymously and all calls are handled confidentially.
Report Elder Abuse: Legal Experts
Once a senior citizen is safe and out of harm’s way, another way to report elder abuse is by contacting an attorney. Getting in touch with a lawyer who specializes in elder law can be beneficial for many reasons. An attorney can examine your case to see if the residential facility can be held financially responsible for the physical and emotional damage the abuse has created.
An attorney can also help raise awareness about abuse that has transpired at the facility. By doing so, other victims may feel empowered to come forward, and future victims may be saved from the pain of abuse. Most consultations are free and worth the time to determine if your rights have been violated.
Report Elder Abuse: Friends and Family
Another way to report elder abuse is to alert friends and family members of the problem. Friends and family can create a support team to help you cope with the physical and emotional damage inflicted by abusers. Friends and family will likely also be able to remove you from an unsafe situation and provide you with the time you need to recover.