Reporting Elder Abuse - Required by NC Law
There are several types of abuse that we may detect in patients we transport or citizens we have contact with. NC Law requires anyone with any reason to believe a disabled adult is being abused, neglected or exploited to report it to DSS. Reporting to the ER does not count as reporting to DSS! The same is true for reporting child abuse. Anyone with reason to believe a child is being abused, neglected or exploited is required to report that to DSS directly. In Buncombe County call 250-5800 or 211 after hours. You don’t need proof and you don’t have to identify yourself. DSS investigates all reports, but they can’t investigate what doesn’t get reported.
Review this information sheet to make sure you comply with NC’s elder abuse reporting law.
Signs of abuse:
- Bruises, black eyes, welts, fractures, burns
- Bed sores, weight loss, dehydration (not caused by medical problems)
- Clothing inappropriate for weather
- Inadequate shelter or medical attention.
- Signs of being restrained or confined.
- Signs of torture or punishment.
Abuse can also come in the form of exploitation; when someone is illegally or improperly using a disabled adult’s resources.
Signs of exploitation include…
- Unexplained disappearance or transfer of valuable possessions or funds
- Large withdrawals of money from bank accounts
- Difference between assets and lifestyle
- Unusually large payments for services
- Mismanagement of person’s funds
- Failure to pay for essential services
- Inappropriate sexual activity
- Inclusion of additional names on bank accounts, etc.
Self neglect is when a disabled adult lives alone or has no caretaker and is not able to care themselves.
Signs of trouble are…
- Inability to cook, eat, bathe, dress, communicate
- Dehydration, malnutrition, poor personal hygiene
- Hazardous, unsanitary or unsafe living conditions
- Forgetfulness or aimless wandering
- Inappropriate use of medications
Caretaker Neglect can produce many of the signs listed above and is the result of a caretaker failing to provide necessary care and service.