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If you suspect elder abuse or neglect
If you suspect abuse or neglect of an elder or dependent adult, your first priority should be making sure that your loved one obtains medical care or treatment (if needed). Your second priority should be to promptly report your concerns. Reporting is critical in preventing further neglect and abuse. The key contact phone numbers are set forth below. If you have questions, we can help guide you through the process, and all consultations are free and confidential: (877) 270-4700
Summary of Recommended Steps if you Suspect Abuse or Neglect:
- First, if you suspect serious harm or injuries, call 911 immediately. Your first priority is to make sure that your loved one’s physically condition is satisfactory. Second, report the abuse. Where you report the abuse depends on the type of facility that your elderly loved one was residing in at the time of the abuse.
- If your loved one was in a Skilled Nursing facility, then you should call the Department of Health Services, Licensing and Certification Program for your county (see the list below or call the DHS main number at 800-236-9747). Then submit a complaint with the DHS against the suspected abusive nursing home, which you can do informally, formally, or anonymously. (The DHS is said to make complaints their highest priority and they should conduct an investigation.)
- If your loved one was in a “Residential Care Facility for the Elderly” (also known as an RCFE, which includes Assisted Living facilities and board and care homes), call your county’s Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services (“CCLD”). Like the DHS, the CCLD should conduct an investigation of your RCFE complaint. See the below list or click here for a list of all CCLD offices in California
- You may also wish to contact your local Ombudsman’s Office. The local ombudsman is the entity designated as the patient advocate for the facilities. For the number of your local office, call the State Ombudsman’s Senior Information Line at 800-510-2020.
- You may also call your county’s Adult Protective Services (“APS”). For a complete list of all APS offices, click here.
- If you have any questions about the reporting process, feel free to call us at the Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Law Center (877-270-4700), or e-mail us, and one of our representatives will help you through the reporting process.
- If you your elderly loved one was seriously injured as a result of suspected abuse, then your next step should be to Contact Us so that The Law Center can advise you about seeking justice and compensation. The call is free and confidential. 1-877-270-4700.
List of Department of Health Services phone numbers:
- Main Number for All of California (800) 236-9747
- Alameda (800) 554-0352
- Bakersfield (866) 222-1903
- Chico (800) 554-0350
- Contra Costa (800) 554-0352
- Daly City (800) 554-0353
- Fresno (800) 554-0351
- Los Angeles (800) 228-1019
- Orange (800) 228-5234
- Redwood Coast (866) 784-0703
- Riverside (888) 354-9203
- Sacramento (800) 554-0354
- San Bernardino (800) 344-2896
- San Diego North (800) 824-0613
- San Diego South (866) 706-0759
- San Jose (800) 554-0348
- Santa Rosa (800) 554-0349
- Ventura (800) 547-8267
Serving Northern California and The Bay Area
Have Questions about Elder Care Law?
Contact an experienced California attorney who specializes in representing victims and family members of those who have suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility.