Report Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can be traumatic, but you can put a stop to it and start the healing process by reporting it. There are several ways to report nursing home abuse that can get your loved one out of danger and prevent the abuser from hurting others.

If your loved one has been harmed in a nursing home, pursue compensation and justice by working with Sokolove Law.

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How to Report Nursing Home Abuse

Reporting physical abuse in nursing homes is key to preventing it from happening, not only to your loved one but to other residents of the assisted living facility. You do not need definitive proof that nursing home abuse is happening in order to report it.

Here is how you can report nursing home abuse:

  • Call 911 if you, a loved one, or another senior is in life-threatening danger.
  • Remove your loved one from the abusive situation immediately and report the abuse to nursing home administrators.
  • Call your state’s toll-free line to report the abuse. Include the nursing home resident’s name, address, and details about the suspected abuse. Some states ask for your contact information, but many others allow confidential reports to be made.
  • If possible, collect evidence (photos, medical records, witness statements, etc.) of the abuse.
  • Consult a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Please note that the above is not necessarily the order in which you should report nursing home abuse — and you do not need to have reported abuse to authorities or an ombudsman to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

As a national nursing home abuse law firm, Sokolove Law may be able to help you access justice and seek compensation if physical or sexual abuse occurred. Get a free case review to see if you can take legal action.

Who to Report Nursing Home Abuse To

There are many people you can contact who can take action after nursing home abuse occurs. Some, such as the police, may seem obvious, while you may not be familiar with others, like your state’s Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman.

Regardless of whom you report the abuse to, or when, contact an attorney who can determine if you and your loved one can pursue compensation for injuries.

  • Local Authorities. Nursing home abuse is usually a crime. The police may be able to help stop abusers. In cases where there is significant evidence of abuse, criminal charges may be filed in addition to a civil complaint.
  • Nursing Home Administrators. If the administrators at an assisted living facility take reports of abuse seriously, as they should, they will likely remove or fire the suspected abuser and investigate the claim. Nursing home administrators may be able to help determine the scope of the abuse by determining how many residents were harmed by the abuser, and how frequently abuse occurred.
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Launched in 1972 under the Older Americans Act (OAA), the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) was designed to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of long-term care residents in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. A crucial part of the LTC Ombudsman’s role is investigating and resolving complaints of abuse. For this reason, every state has a toll-free hotline that people can call to report abuse.
  • Adult Protective Services or Another Help Hotline. States (and some cities) also have Adult Protective Services you can contact to report elder mistreatment or neglect. This is one of several toll-free hotlines you may be able to call to report nursing home abuse. Other options may include social services, the health department, or your state’s Attorney General’s office.

In addition to any formal reporting of the abuse, consider reaching out to a nursing home abuse lawyer. If your loved one was physically harmed or sexually abused, a nursing home abuse attorney may be able to pursue compensation and justice on their behalf.

Learn More About Your Options

If you or your loved one experienced abuse in a nursing home facility, an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer with Sokolove Law can help you understand your legal options.

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Nursing Home Abuse Reporting Requirements

In order to report cases of nursing home abuse, you’ll need to give details about who was harmed and what happened. Below, our team has compiled some of the information you may need to provide when reporting elder abuse in nursing homes.

  • The name and location of the nursing home where the abuse is taking place
  • The name and job title or role of the suspected abuser
  • The name of the abuser’s victim
  • Details about the nature of the abuse and the victim’s injury

Please note that you do not need physical proof of abuse to report it.

Confidentially Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

In many states, you can report nursing home abuse anonymously, without giving your name or contact information. In others, you are required to provide your personal information.

Contact your state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman to find out if you can report abuse confidentially.

Most Doctors and Nurses Are Required to Report Abuse

Everyone has a moral obligation to report elder abuse in assisted living facilities — but in most states, doctors, nurses, nursing home staff, and other health care professionals are also legally required to report suspected abuse.

Health care professionals who witness or suspect abuse but fail to report it could be held accountable by victims of the abuse through a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

Get Help from a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Reporting nursing home abuse may sound daunting, but it could be the only way to stop it.

By reporting your case to a nursing home abuse lawyer, you can hold abusers and the facilities that enabled the abuse responsible. You may also seek compensation for the harm done and prevent other residents from being hurt. If your loved one suffered nursing home abuse, call our nursing home abuse attorneys right away. At Sokolove Law, we have more than 40 years of experience helping families get access to justice.

Our lawyers can help you pursue justice and compensation if your loved one has been injured. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review to see if our team can help.

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse FAQs

How common is nursing home abuse?

Sadly, elder abuse in nursing homes is extremely common. An analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that 64% of nursing home staff self-reported committing elder abuse. Examples of abuse included physically restraining patients, over- or under-medicating them, and neglecting them to the point that patients developed bedsores.

Who do you report nursing home abuse to?

If you or a loved one is being abused in an assisted living facility, you can report the abuse to local authorities, nursing home administrators, your state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman, and a nursing home abuse attorney who may be able to help you pursue justice and compensation.

Importantly, you do not need to have reported abuse to authorities or an ombudsman to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

How do you report abuse in a nursing home?

To report nursing home abuse, you’ll need to contact an attorney, nursing home administrators, a Long-Term Care Ombudsman or another elder advocate. You may need to provide details like  the name of the nursing home, the name and job title of the abuser, the name of the victim, and the nature of the abuse.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to make the report anonymously. You don’t need definitive proof of abuse to report it.

Can you report elder abuse anonymously?

In many states, you can report elder abuse anonymously, without providing your name or other personal information. In some, you are required to give your name and phone number.

Contact your state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman to find out if you can report elder abuse confidentially.

Author:Sokolove Law Team
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: September 16, 2021

View 4 Sources
  1. Administration for Community Living (ACL). “Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.” (nd) Accessed August 24, 2021. https://acl.gov/programs/Protecting-Rights-and-Preventing-Abuse/Long-term-Care-Ombudsman-Program
  2. National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). “State Resources.” (nd) Accessed August 24, 2021. https://ncea.acl.gov/Resources/State.aspx
  3. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). “Mandatory Reporting Requirements: The Elderly.” Updated March 2020. Accessed August 24, 2021. https://apps.rainn.org/policy/compare/elderly-export.cfm
  4. U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). “Nursing Homes: Improved Oversight Needed to Better Protect Residents from Abuse.” July 23, 2019. Accessed August 24, 2021. https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-19-433