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What should I do if I suspect that someone is the victim of elder abuse?

If you suspect that someone is the victim of elder abuse you should report your concern to the Adult Protective Services (APS) in your state. You can find the APS reporting number for each state by visiting the State Resources section of the National Center on Elder Abuse website and the Eldercare Locator website.
Anthony Cirillo
Geriatric Medicine

Here's what you should do if you suspect someone is the victim of elder abuse:

  • First, know what to look for and what the signs are: physical symptoms like bruises, withdrawn behavior and unaccounted financial changes.
  • Don't talk to the abuser. They may flee or retaliate.
  • Follow your intuition -- if you feel something is wrong, it probably is.
  • If you have evidence, report it to authorities right away.
  • If you suspect there is imminent danger, call 911 and report to the police.
  • If there is no imminent danger, contact your local welfare and social service agencies.
  • If the abuse happens at an institution like a nursing home, contact your state's long-term care ombudsman.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.