California State Law

What situations require reporting?

Observing, having knowledge of, hearing about, or reasonably suspecting an incident or pattern that appears to be:
  • physical (including sexual) abuse - this includes inappropriate, excessive or punitive use of physical or chemical restraints, or withholding needed medication
  • abandonment
  • isolation
  • financial abuse
  • abduction
  • neglect - including self-neglect, one of the largest categories of elder abuse
  • (optional reporting) psychological abuse
Note this means you must report even if the patient simply tells you about something that happened - this could be an overt act or an omission of something needed.  There do not have to be injuries, which is required for reporting domestic abuse.  Also, you are required to report even if the patient does not wish you to do so.
You are required to report your suspicions.
It is not your job to investigate.

You are not required to report if:

You are an MD, RN, or psychotherapist, and all of the following apply:
  1. The Mandated Reporter has been told by an elder or dependent adult that he or she has experienced behavior constituting physical abuse, abandonment, isolation, financial abuse, or neglect;
  2. The Mandated Reporter is not aware of any independent evidence that corroborates the statement that the abuse has occurred;
  3. The elder or dependent adult has been diagnosed with a mental illness or dementia, or is the subject of a court-ordered conservatorship because of a mental illness or dementia; and
  4. In the exercise of his/her clinical  judgment, the Mandated Reporter reasonably believes that the abuse did not occur.