Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of the Elderly and Disabled

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) investigates abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable individuals 60 and older and people with disabilities between 18 and 59. These individuals may live in the community or in long-term care facilities. Either way, they are unable to protect their own interests or adequately perform or obtain services necessary to meet their essential human needs (660.250, RSMo).

Missouri’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Hotline responds to reports of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. If you suspect someone is being abused, neglected or exploited, call the hotline at 800-392-0210.  The hotline operates 365 days per year from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.  Hearing-impaired persons may call the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), at 800-735-2466 or 800-735-2966 to utilize Relay Missouri. Due to the possible need for mandated reporters to report a concern to the Central Registry Unit (CRU) during the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. (when the hotline is not in operation), a Mandated Reporter Form is available for use.

What is Abuse?

Abuse happens to people of all ethnicities and income levels and can be physical, sexual or emotional in nature. For information on abuse statistics in Missouri, see Elder Abuse- It is a Crime.
FY11 FY10 FY09 FY08

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Who can Report Abuse?

Anyone who suspects someone is being abused, neglected, or exploited can make a report.  Certain professionals, however, are mandated by law to report. A complete list of mandated reporters and mandated reporting laws is found in Elder Abuse- It is a Crime, page 1.

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What Information Do I Have to Report?

See Elder Abuse-It is a Crime, page 1, for information on what to report.

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What Happens After I Make a Report?

If the alleged victim lives in his or her own home or community, an investigator will help the alleged victim determine the services or interventions needed to stop or alleviate the abuse. The services may include:

If the alleged victim lives in a long-term care facility, the department’s Division of Regulation and Licensure staff conducts an investigation. Complaint investigations are handled in accordance with state statute. Reports or complaints are generally initiated within 24 hours. For more information, contact us or email info@health.mo.gov.

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What about my rights?

A competent older person may refuse all services and interventions.  No decisions are made about a competent adult without her or her involvement and consent.

A facility resident has the right to:

For adults participating in the Protective Services Program, consideration is given to the following inherent rights:

All programs stress the competent adult’s right to make decisions regarding care.

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Adult Protective Services

For community-dwelling adults and persons with disabilities, the Department of Health and Senior Services provides Adult Protective Services (APS).  Protective services are provided on behalf of eligible adults who are unable to:

The purpose of Adult Protective Services is to:

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