It is everyone’s responsibility to look out for those in Illinois who cannot look out for themselves or who may be more vulnerable to abuse. There are laws in place about reporting elderly abuse, which includes any abuse that occurs in a nursing home. If you work in certain professions, you should be aware of your reporting requirements.

According to the Illinois Department on Aging, anyone can make a report of elder abuse and is encouraged to do so. The state has an Adult Protective Services Hotline that you can call to report any suspected abuse situation. You can use this toll-free number to contact authorities regardless of where the person lives. You will need to provide some information about the person being abused and the circumstances that led you to call. Do be aware that the call is confidential.

You may also have a requirement to report any suspicions of abuse under legal reporting requirements. These mandatory reporting requirements apply to social workers, adult caregivers, medical personnel, educational workers, law enforcement and social service workers. If you work in any of these professions, you must report abuse when you see it or suspect it is occurring.

The elderly in nursing homes are often unable to protect or advocate for themselves due to physical or mental incapacitation. That is why the law steps in to make us responsible for looking out for them. If everyone works together, they can help to prevent elder abuse and neglect. This information is for education only. It is not legal advice.