Reporting Elder Abuse and Neglect

TCAD Aging and Disability Community Resource Guide
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According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever come to the attention of authorities. Tennessee is a mandatory reporting state. If you see abuse — or even suspect that an adult is being abused, neglected or exploited — you must report it. Call the Tennessee Department of Human Services Adult Protective Services unit, toll-free at 888-277-8366.

Who Should I Tell?

  • If the abuse is happening now, call 911.
  • If you suspect elder or adult abuse, call Adult Protective Services at 888-277-8366.
  • If the abuse is physical, call Tennessee Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-356-6767.

Warning Signs of Physical Abuse

Bruising, especially in the torso or head; frequent injuries from accidents; broken eyeglasses or frames; caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors alone with the older person.

Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse

Isolation of the older person or refusing to allow visits alone with the senior; observed threatening or belittling of the older person by the caregiver.

Warning Signs of Neglect

Unusual weight loss; malnutrition; dehydration; untreated physical problems; unsafe and unsanitary living conditions such as dirt, vermin, soiled clothes and bedding; inappropriate clothing for the weather; desertion or
abandonment of the older person in a public place.

Warning Signs of Financial Exploitation

Significant withdrawals from the vulnerable adult’s accounts; sudden changes in their financial circumstances; valuable items or cash missing from their home; increase in junk mail soliciting purchases or payments for
sweepstakes money; neglect of the victim, such as no food in the home; and maintenance and repairs of the home are ignored.

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