Reporting suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of older persons living in your community
Anyone can report a case of elder abuse in good faith.
The Elder Abuse and Neglect Act provides that people who in good faith report suspected abuse or cooperate with an investigation are immune from criminal or civil liability or professional disciplinary action. It further provides that the identity of the reporter shall not be disclosed except with the written permission of the reporter or by order of a court. Anonymous reports are accepted.
Certain professionals are required by law to report suspected elder abuse.
Illinois has a law which requires certain professionals to make reports of suspected abuse of older persons who are unable, due to dysfunction, to report for themselves.
This law applies to persons delivering professional services to older persons in the following fields:
- social services
- adult care
- law enforcement
- state service to seniors
- social workers.
Mandatory reporting requirements only apply when the reporter believes that the older person is not capable of reporting the abuse themselves.
For more information, see the booklet, "Reporting Elder Abuse: What Professionals Need to Know," listed in Publications. For a free copy, contact the Senior HelpLine.
To Report Abuse
To report suspected abuse, exploitation or neglect of an older person, call the statewide, 24-hour Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-866-800-1409, 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).
You may also call your local Elder Abuse Provider Agency. A list is available in the Directory of Agencies and Organizations Serving Seniors.
The reporter should be prepared to answer the following questions to the best of their ability...
- The alleged victim's name, address, telephone number, sex, age and general condition;
- The alleged abuser's name, sex, age, relationship to victim and condition;
- The circumstances which lead the reporter to believe that the older person is being abused, neglected or financially exploited, with as much specificity as possible;
- Whether the alleged victim is in immediate danger, the best time to contact the person, if he or she knows of the report, and if there is any danger to the worker going out to investigate;
- Whether the reporter believes the client could make a report themselves;
- The name, telephone number and profession of the reporter;
- The names of others with information about the situation;
- If the reporter is willing to be contacted again; and,
- Any other relevant information.
All reports and records of the Elder Abuse and Neglect Program are subject to strict confidentiality provisions, except as provided by law or court order.
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