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What is elder abuse and what are the reporting requirements?

Elder abuse is something to which no elderly person should ever be subjected. For some elderly residents in nursing homes, the sad reality is that abuse and neglect do occur. When this happens, the incidents should be reported to the proper authorities so that action can be taken.

What forms does elder abuse take?

The victims of elder abuse can suffer from physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuses. In severe cases, elder abuse and neglect can lead to death. With the severity of the issues that can occur, elder abuse should be reported as soon as it is known.

Why do some people avoid reporting elder abuse?

Some people who are the victims of elder abuse might not report the abuse because they feel bad that they fell victim to the abuse. When the person who is abusing the elderly person is a loved one or someone who is otherwise trusted, victims might be unwilling to make a report.

Is it ever mandatory to report elder abuse?

There are some instances in which it is mandatory to report elder abuse. On a federal level, the Elder Justice Act sets the requirements for mandatory reporting. In other cases, state laws might dictate that a person is required to report elder abuse.

If you think that your loved one is being abused in a nursing facility, you can be their advocate and file a police report about the abuse. At some future point after the investigation, you might also be able to help your loved one seek compensation for the damages they suffered.

Source: FindLaw, "Reporting Elder Abuse," accessed April 01, 2016

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