How to report Elder Abuse (and Who to Report it to)

This post is a part of our guide series to support anyone who may have been a victim of Elder Abuse in the past or has questions around the topic:

What is Elder Abuse? Definitions & Meanings
Who Commits Elder Abuse & Why?
What are the Signs & Symptoms of Elder Abuse?
Handling & Dealing with Elder Abuse
How to Report Elder Abuse (and Who to Report it to)
How can Elder Abuse be Prevented?
Elder Abuse Data & Statistics
Elder Abuse Helplines, Support & Further Reading

Reporting Elder Abuse is a challenging situation, be it a victim, survivor or onlooker. We can all play an important part in preventing or stopping Elder Abuse. In this guide, we will discuss the different ways of reporting elder abuse.

Who can or should I report Elder Abuse to?

There are a number of organisations you can report elder abuse to. Who and how you chose to report the abuse to will depend on the circumstances. For example, if the elderly person is in a care home, you may wish to report the abuse to a senior member of staff and ask them to log the report. You may also wish to report the same with ‘The Quality Care Commission’, which is the body that ensures care homes adhere to strict standards.

If the elderly person is being cared for in their home by family and friends and you are concerned, you can report this to Adult Social Services at your local council.

In any situation, if you feel the elderly person is in immediate danger then contact the police on 999.

How do I report Elder Abuse whilst it’s happening to me or someone else?

There are several ways in which abuse can be reported. Thankfully the development of technology over the years has made it easier to access resources for help. You may wish to speak to someone over the phone, or by email. Most organisations understand if you want to remain anonymous so you don’t have to be worried about sharing your identity. Remember in case of immediate danger call 999. Alternatively, you may wish to speak to someone face to face in confidence, like your GP or nurse.

If you are trying to help someone else, it is important to remember that whilst reporting may save a life, it can also be dangerous depending on the situation. You must ensure the safety for the victim and yourself. For example, calling the police may risk more harm to the victim as they may not be in position to speak truthfully about what has happened.   It is better to approach the victim and arrange a safety plan in which you know when to contact the police. You may wish to talk to the victim about approaching other resources for help, this may be organisations such as ‘Hourglass’ or Adult Social Services. Do not attempt to confront the abuser.

How do I report past Elder Abuse?

The most important thing to remember is no matter when the abuse happened, it is never too late to do something about it now. Depending on the type and severity of abuse, you may wish to report the incident/s to the police, you can do this by going to your local police station or by calling 101. This may be very difficult and it would be better to have someone close to you support you through this. It would involve providing a detailed statement of what happened and also details of the abuser

You may find it useful to contact Adult Social Services and report the abuse to them to, they may be able to help you with other support that you may require. There are charities such as ‘Hourglass (Safer Aging)’ and ‘Age UK’ that can also provide you with help and guidance.

Can I report Elder Abuse anonymously?

Most authorities will allow you to remain anonymous, however, you will need to give as much information as possible so that the relevant authority can follow it up. This will include:

  • details of the elderly person you are concerned about,
  • the name and address of the elderly person
  • why you are concerned, for example, something you have been told, seen or think may be happening.

If you are asked to give your name, in most instances this will be confidential.

What happens after Elder Abuse is reported?

Once you have reported the abuse, it will be reviewed by the relevant authorities such as the care home, Adult Social Services or the police. These authorities may then request further evidence such as medical reports and recommend inspections of the elderly person’s residence or care home if this is needed.

We understand how difficult it is to see someone you know or love experiencing abuse, sometimes trying to help a victim is not easy. It’s important to remember that you are not alone and the first step that you should take is to talk to someone. No one should have to deal with abuse alone.

Here at the Criminal Injuries Helpline, we help victims of violent crime and abuse recover compensation. You may want to help the victim gain some justice, get in touch with us today to see if the victim would qualify.

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