How to Report Elder Abuse

Older Americans can be vulnerable to elder abuse, especially when they are in the care of others. June 15th is World Elder Abuse Day, so let’s take a look at how to report elder abuse in Indiana.

Who is an Endangered Adult?

In the State of Indiana, an endangered adult is an individual who is at least 18 years old and “incapable by reason of mental illness, mental retardation, dementia, or other physical or mental incapacity of managing or directing the management of the individual’s property or providing or directing the provision of self-care.”

In Indiana, if you believe or have reason to believe that an endangered adult is being exploited, neglected, or the victim of battery, you are required to report the facts to Adult Protective Services or a law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over that adult. The Indiana Elder Abuse State Hotline number is 1-800-992-6978. You can also report online.

What Happens After a Report is Filed?

Indiana’s Adult Protective Services program was created to investigate reports and provide intervention and protection to endangered adults who are victims of abuse, exploitation, or neglect. After a report is filed, it is sent to the director of the local unit to determine the next steps. The report will remain confidential and the reporter’s name will not be disclosed without a court order.

Caring for Elders

If your loved one is an endangered adult, it’s especially important to be aware of what qualifies as abuse/battery, neglect, and exploitation in Indiana. If you witness abuse/battery, neglect, or exploitation of an endangered adult, call the Elder Abuse hotline or contact local law enforcement.

Adult Protective Services defines abuse/battery as occurring when a person knowingly or intentionally touches another individual in a rude/insolent/angry manner or places any bodily fluid or waste on another person in a rude/insolent/angry manner. Neglect happens when the person who cares for the endangered adult fails to provide adequate food, medical care, clothing, or shelter. Exploitation occurs when a person intentionally exerts unauthorized use of the personal services or property of an endangered adult for the person’s own profit or for the profit of another person. Exploitation also includes (but is not limited to) sexual misuse in addition to the use of the endangered adult’s labor without pay.

If you or a loved one has suffered from elder abuse, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.