Elder Abuse

This following is meant to offer general information about reporting and responding to elder abuse, but is not meant to be interpreted as legal advice. 

How Do I Report Abuse of an Elder or Endangered Adult?
If you are age 18 or older, and you know or suspect that an elder, or other endangered adult, is being abused, you must report it.
If the person is in immediate danger, call 911.
Adult Protective Services (APS) Hotline: (800)992-6978 or local law enforcement

Tippecanoe County APS
(765)420-1587 or aps@tippecanoe.in.gov  
The APS investigator will get back to you as soon as they are able during normal business hours.

What If I'm Not Sure Abuse Has Occurred?
If you are told about abuse, or suspect it, you should report it. Not reporting abuse can leave the person in a dangerous situation.
Sometimes friends and family fail to report abuse because they think an elder or person with disabilities is forgetful, has misunderstood something, or is not believable.  
Figuring out the evidence is the job of APS and other agencies, but making the report is everyone's responsibility.

What About Medical Attention After Sexual Abuse?
Elderly and endangered people can receive forensic sexual assault examinations paid for by the state of Indiana. However, no one who is capable of making decisions about their health care can be forced to submit to a forensic sexual assault exam. Be patient with them as you explain what the exam is and why it's necessary for evidence collection, but do not pressure them into the exam.
Please understand that these exams can be uncomfortable for anyone, especially for people who are not as comfortable or able in talking about sexual abuse. 

Long-Term Care Facilities and Nursing Homes

After you report the abuse to APS or law enforcement, there are several additional ways you can get help for someone who lives in a long-term care facility, such as:

Report to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH)
The ISDH is responsible for investigating complaints of abuse occurring in health care facilities (including long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living communities, etc).

Report to the Facility
You may call the facility and ask to speak to the Administrator. If the Administrator cannot be reached, ask to speak to the Director of Nursing. Either the Administrator or the Director of Nursing will then initiate the facility's protocol for responding to allegations of abuse.
If the Administrator or Director of Nursing is the suspected abuser, contact APS or ISDH instead.

Report to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman
A Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate for anyone living in a long-term care facility. 
Tippecanoe County Ombudsman
(800)382-7581 or (765)423-5327 ext. 16.