When you place an elderly loved one in the care of another individual or entity, you trust that individual or entity to treat your loved one with the dignity, respect, and care they deserve. Unfortunately, when it comes to the care of elderly individuals, expectations are vastly different from reality. There are an estimated 5,000,000 new cases of nursing home financial, physical, and sexual abuse that occur each year. In this post, we’ll provide an overview on how to report elder abuse in Illinois. If you are struggling with how to proceed with this delicate matter, contact Coogan Gallagher today.
Anyone can report suspected elder abuse. Per the Adult Protective Services Act, anyone who reports suspected abuse, financial exploitation, or fraud in the state of Illinois, or anyone who cooperates with an investigation of a nursing home abuse complaint, is immune from civil or criminal liability or disciplinary action.
Thanks to protections provided by the act, the reporter’s identity shall not be disclosed unless the reporter gives written permission to do so or by court order. If you suspect abuse but do not wish to have your identity made public, you can also place an anonymous tip.
Most people are only compelled to report elder abuse if a loved one happens to be the victim. But there are certain professionals who are required, by law, to report any suspicions, founded or not. However, these professionals need only report suspected abuse of individuals who are unable to make the report themselves, such as individuals 60 years or older or people with disabilities who are between the ages of 18 and 59.
Professionals who must report suspected abuse of elderly or disabled individuals work within the following fields:
The state makes it relatively easy for individuals to report suspected elder abuse in Illinois:
When making your report, be prepared to provide details regarding the following:
If you suspect that the people you charged with the care and safety of your elderly loved one is actually causing your loved one harm, or if you yourself are the victim of elder abuse, place your report via one of the agencies mentioned above. You should also contact the experienced Chicago elder abuse attorneys at Coogan Gallagher to discuss possible legal remedies.