The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at ABLE works to uphold the rights of people who receive long-term care by investigating and resolving complaints about long-term care ranging from admission and discharge problems to abuse, neglect and violations of civil rights.

Defining Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a crime. Help is available. Abuse of an elderly person can happen in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult group homes and other long-term care facilities. Abuse from a caregiver can also occur in private homes.

Indicators of Elder Abuse

Why does elder abuse and neglect happen? Many factors can contribute to an elder abuse situation. Sometimes, there is misunderstanding or ignorance on the part of the caregiver, such as when a long-term care staff person does not understand the effects of aging. In nursing homes, in particular, staff may be prone to commit elder abuse because of insufficient staffing, lack of training, or stressful working conditions.

Reporting Elder Abuse

How should you report elder abuse and neglect? Long-term care staff must report abuse and neglect violations according to facility policy. In most long-term care facilities, policy states that staff must report violations to the unit supervisor or administrator. State law requires the facility to report the abuse or neglect allegation to the Ohio Department of Health within 24 hours and complete an investigation within five days of the report.