One policy that has been put in place to help reporting of elder abuse and neglect is mandatory reporting. This mandatory reporting ensures that officials report abuse. If a mandatory reporter is suspicious of abuse, or if an elderly victim has confided abuse to them, they are required to report the abuse, and takes the steps necessary to help stop the abuse. You can learn more about mandatory reporters on this page.
Mandatory Reporters and Elder Abuse
Any mandated reporter who has reasonable cause to suspect that someone over 60 years old has been abused, neglected, exploited, or abandoned or is in need of protective services must report the abuse to the Connecticut Department of Social Services, Protective Services for the Elderly within five days. Mandatory reports can get in a lot of trouble if they learn about abuse and don’t report it.
Below is a list of mandated reporters, those who must report elder abuse or neglect:
- Nursing home administrators, staff members paid to provide care in a nursing home, nurse’s aides
- Patient advocates
- Physical therapists
- Social workers
- Osteopaths, optometrists, chiropractors, and podiatrists
- Medical examiners
- Licensed physicians, surgeons, residents, or interns, registered and licensed nurses
- Police officers
Any of the above mandated reports are required to submit a report, either orally or in writing to the Connecticut DSS. The report must include the name and address of the victim, information about the nature and extent of the abuse, and any other information that would help with the investigation. Failure to report could result in up to a $500 fine. The laws gives reporters civil and criminal immunity unless the reporter acted in bad faith or malice.
Those who are not mandated reporters are strongly advised to report any elder abuse or neglect that they are aware of to the DSS Protective Services for the Elderly. In particular, it is recommended that family members contact the police or DSS Protective Services for the Elderly when they learn about abuse. However, if a person is not a mandated reporter, they are not required to say anything about the abuse. There may be situations where it can be difficult to come forward with information about neglect or abuse.
Getting Help for Your Loved One
However, if you suspect that someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment, it is best to report the incident. This is the best way that you can help your loved one. The next step to take is contacting an attorney who can help your loved one. To do this, call our office today. You can speak with an attorney who will be able to answer questions that you have and advise you on your options. We know that this is a difficult time for your family, but we can help.