Reporting Elder Abuse and Neglect

Take action to immediately report suspected nursing home abuse or neglect

It is a violation of State and Federal law for any person, including facility staff, volunteers, visitors, family members or guardians, or another resident, to neglect or abuse a resident.

Anyone can and should report neglect and abuse. If you suspect neglect or abuse, or if a resident tells you they are experiencing this problem, it is important to believe the resident and REPORT THE ALLEGATION IMMEDIATELY. This will help prevent further suffering by any resident.

Many states have laws that require the reporting of abuse and neglect. Find out what your state requires. Put your report in writing, date it, and keep a copy. Convey as much information as you can about the situation. Remember to include:

  • WHO – The name of the victim, including age and address; the name of the facility and the people responsible for the victim’s care; the identity of the person who you believe abused or neglected the resident;
  • WHAT – The nature and extent of harm and any physical signs of abuse or neglect; any previous incidents; what happened;
  • WHERE and WHEN – The place where the incident happened and time and date of the incident.

Provide as much background information as possible. A thorough report will help the investigator to address the situation quickly.


Make Your Report To:

  • The nursing home’s administrator, director of nursing, and social worker
  • The state or local ombudsman
  • The local police or State law enforcement
  • A Protection and Advocacy or Adult Protective Services agency
  • The state survey agency that licenses and certifies nursing homes (often in the Health Department)
  • A citizen advocacy group, or other church or community group that visits regularly.

Keep trying until you get the