Elder Abuse Helpline: (608) 261.9933
(Intake for Dane County for both adult-at-risk and elder adult-at-risk)
Historically, Wisconsin law required health care workers to report suspected child abuse, but did not require the reporting of suspected elder abuse. Instead, the elder abuse statute "permitted" such reporting. Now, a recent amendment to Wisconsin law effective December 1, 2006 requires health care providers and social workers to report, under certain circumstances, suspected abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation of "adults-at-risk" and "elder adults-at-risk".
Adult-at-Risk is defined as "any adult who has a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs his or her ability to care for his or her needs and who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation".
Elder Adult-at-Risk is defined as "any person age 60 or older who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk for experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation.
The new Wisconsin law requires health care workers, including social workers, to report allegations of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation if the (elder) adult-at-risk is seen in the course of the health care workers professional duties and one of the following is true:
- The (elder) adult-at-risk has requested that staff make the report; or
- There is reasonable cause to believe that the (elder) adult-at-risk is at imminent risk of serious bodily harm, death, sexual abuse, or significant property loss and is unable to make an informed judgement about whether to report the risk; or
- Other (elder) adults-at-risk are at risk of serious bodily harm, death, sexual assault, or significant property loss inflicted by the suspected perpetrator
There are exeptions to the mandated reporting requirements.
Adult-at-Risk Reporting Requirements
Elder Abuse in Wisconsin