The population of older adults is on the rise. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “In 2050, the population aged 65 and over is projected to be 83.7 million, almost double its estimated population of 34.1 million in 2012” (Ortman J.M., Velkoff, V.A. and Hogan, H. (2014). An Aging Population in the United States). Although many older adults live healthy and fulfilling lives, others are not as fortunate. It is estimated that 1 in 10 Americans age 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse.
In an effort to protect elders and dependent adults from abuse, California legislature passed the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, contained within the California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC). This Act includes legal requirements for reporting abuse of elders and dependent adults.
The purpose of this website is to assist mandated reporters in understanding their legal obligation for reporting abuse of elders and dependent adults. This website also provides reporting instructions and provides information on the types of abuse that need to be reported.
The WIC requires a mandated reporter to make a report of suspected elder/dependent adult abuse if the mandated reporter’s professional capacity, or within the scope of the mandated reporter’s employment, he/she:
- Observes or has knowledge of an incident that reasonably appears to be physical abuse, abandonment, abduction, isolation, financial abuse, or neglect; or
- Is told by an elder or dependent adult that he/she has experienced behavior, including an act or omission, constituting physical abuse, abandonment, abduction, isolation, financial abuse, or neglect; or
- Reasonably suspects that abuse has occurred.
As mandated reporters, we are legally obligated to report abuse.