Crimes Against Older Adults Link to Home Page

You can help stop elder abuse.

Silence isn’t golden.

If you suspect elder abuse call:

1-800-490-8505

Emotional Elder Abuse and Neglect Is a Crime!

What You Need to Know About Reporting Elder Abuse.

If you are a professional who suspects you have witnessed emotional abuse or neglect of an older adult, you need to understand state requirements on reporting such abuse. In Pennsylvania there are two types of reporting - voluntary and mandatory.

Voluntary reporting

  • Any person who believes that an older adult is being abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned may file a report 24 hours a day with any Area Agency on Aging or call the statewide elder abuse hotline at 1-800-490-8505.
  • Abuse reports can be made on behalf of an older adult whether the person lives in the community or in a care facility such as a nursing home, personal care home, hospital, etc.
  • Reporters may remain anonymous.
  • Reporters have legal protection from retaliation, discrimination and civil or criminal prosecution.

Mandatory reporting

  • Employees and administrators of nursing homes, personal care homes, domiciliary care homes, adult day care centers and home health care are mandated by Act 13 of 1997 to immediately report any suspected abuse of a recipient of care to the Area Agency on Aging. If the abuse involves serious injury, sexual abuse or suspicious death, reporters must also call police and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging at (717) 783-6207. In addition, the reporter may also call the Pennsylvania Department of Health Nursing Home Complaint Line at 1-800-254-5164.
  • Failure to report as required by Act 13-1997 can result in administrative or criminal penalties.

Understanding the victim’s rights when abuse has been reported

  • Victims have the right to be told that someone has reported that they might be the victim of abuse and need protective services.
  • Victims can refuse to accept services.
  • Victims have the right to legal counsel when the Area Agency on Aging attempts to obtain an emergency, involuntary intervention court order.
  • Victims have the right to a guarantee that all information concerning their case will be maintained confidential.
  • Alleged abusers have the right to be notified after substantiation of a report and given an opportunity to challenge the findings of the investigation.

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Know your ABC's!

Acknowledge that abuse happens in OUR community.

Believe the survivor.

Counseling and support resources are available. Know your resources and refer victims for help and assistance.