Victim Services

Unit 4: Legal Aspects

Elder Abuse Reporting

Indiana Duty to Report:  http://www.dhblaw.com/PDF/ElderAbuse.pdf

Indiana          

  • 1-800-992-6978 (Toll free in Indiana)
  • Outside of Indiana: 1-800-545-7763, Ext. 20135
  • 1-800-992-6978 (Toll free in Indiana)
  • Outside of Indiana: 1-800-545-7763, Ext. 20135

More Information:  Indiana Adult Protective Services

The different types of elder abuse

Physical abuse

Physical elder abuse is non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury, or impairment. Such abuse includes not only physical assaults such as hitting or shoving but the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.

Emotional abuse

In emotional or psychological senior abuse, people speak to or treat elderly persons in ways that cause emotional pain or distress.

Verbal forms of emotional elder abuse include

  • Intimidation through yelling or threats
  • Humiliation and ridicule
  • Habitual blaming or scapegoating

Nonverbal psychological elder abuse can take the form of

  • Ignoring the elderly person
  • Isolating an elder from friends or activities
  • Terrorizing or menacing the elderly person

Sexual abuse

Sexual elder abuse is contact with an elderly person without the elder’s consent. Such contact can involve physical sex acts, but activities such as showing an elderly person pornographic material, forcing the person to watch sex acts, or forcing the elder to undress are also considered sexual elder abuse.

Neglect or abandonment by caregivers

Elder neglect, failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation, constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be active (intentional) or passive (unintentional, based on factors such as ignorance or denial that an elderly charge needs as much care as he or she does).

Financial exploitation

This involves unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property, either by a caregiver or an outside scam artist.

Healthcare fraud and abuse

Carried out by unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, and other professional care providers, examples of healthcare fraud and abuse regarding elders include

  • Not providing healthcare, but charging for it
  • Overcharging or double-billing for medical care or services
  • Getting kickbacks for referrals to other providers or for prescribing certain drugs
  • Overmedicating or under medicating
  • Recommending fraudulent remedies for illnesses or other medical conditions
  • Medicaid fraud