Discovering that your loved one has been mistreated is devastating, but understanding how to report elder abuse can help secure their safety.
Unfortunately, elders are not always able to speak out about their abuse, so it is essential for those who love them to step in when they suspect a problem. Knowing who to contact and the subsequent steps to take just might help you save their life.
Who Should Report Elder Abuse?
In most states, doctors are mandated to report any suspected abuse. If they fail to do so, they could be held liable for any damages that occur. Aside from doctors, anyone who suspects abuse should report it. Doctors and other workers may miss it, so any other caring individual needs to step in and help when necessary.
Whom Do I Call if I Suspect Abuse?
If you suspect that an elder is being abused, it might be confusing to know what steps to take. First, if the resident is in life-threatening danger, do not hesitate and call 911 immediately. If your loved one is not in immediate danger, the Nursing Home Abuse Center suggests three great resources for reporting abuse:
- Local law enforcement authorities
- Local adult protective services (APL). Utah’s APL services can be found here.
- A local long-term care ombudsman. Ombudsmen are trained and empowered to help resolve elder care issues. Find a local ombudsman in Utah here.
What Should I Expect When I Call to Report Elder Abuse?
When you make a call to report elder abuse, make sure that you have access to the resident’s personal information such as their name, address, and phone number. After that, they will ask for the details concerning why you suspect abuse. Here are some examples of questions you might be asked:
- Are there any known medical problems including confusion or memory loss?
- What kind of family or social support is there?
- Have you seen or heard incidents of yelling, hitting, or other abusive behavior?
Before you make your report, make sure you are prepared to answer these questions, so the proper authorities can act as quickly as possible.
What Happens After I Report Elder Abuse?
After your concerns have been reported to the proper authorities, an investigation will be conducted to substantiate the claims that were made. Interviews will be led and evidence will be gathered.
Once the investigation is over, the proper actions will be performed to ensure that the abuse will cease. You can also request to have the elder removed from the facility altogether. Once they are removed and the situation has been handled, their healing process can begin.
If Your Loved One Has Suffered Elder Abuse, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help
Once you have made the brave decision to report elder abuse, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help you fight for the care your loved one deserves. We understand how critical it is to hold negligent nursing homes accountable for any degree of abuse or neglect their staff has inflicted upon their residents.
Our offices are located throughout Utah in Orem, Provo, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan. Reach out to get in contact with our team today.