Elder Rights

About Elder Rights Program

The goal of the Elder Rights Program is to address and focus on prevention, intervention, detection and reporting elder abuse, neglect and exploitation by presenting the senior consumer with options to enhance and protect their life and independence. The Elder Rights program also assists persons who voluntarily accept our services. The process includes these steps.

  • A confidential referral and intake process
  • Ongoing assessment of the situation and risks
  • Development of intervention plans to reduce identified risks
  • Continued follow-up until it is agreed that our services are no longer needed

Also available through this program is the Mandatory Reporter Training for Dependent Adult Abuse. Our Elder Rights Specialist provides and coordinates the mandatory reporter training for care facilities and their staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is the abuse, neglect or exploitation of individuals age 60 or older.

Click here to read about the Red Flags of Abuse.

What is dependent adult abuse?

Dependent Adult Abuse is the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of any individual age 18 or older who is "unable to protect their own interest or unable to adequately perform or obtain services necessary to meet essential human needs, as a result of a physical or mental condition which requires the assistance of another." The perpetrator must be the individual's caretaker and there must be an allegation of abuse as recognized under Chapter 235B of the Iowa Code.

  • Abuse: In Iowa, the following types of abuse are recognized under Chapter 235B of the Iowa Code: Physical Abuse (including unreasonable confinement and assault), Sexual Abuse, Financial Exploitation, Sexual Exploitation, Denial of Critical Care and Self Denial of Critical Care.
  • Neglect: The deprivation of the minimum food, shelter, clothing, supervision, physical or mental health care, or other care necessary to maintain a dependent adult's life or health. Within this definition is "self-neglect".
  • Exploitation: The act or process of taking unfair advantage of an individual or taking assets or resources for your own profit or gain. This includes the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, deception or false representation.
If I suspect a case of abuse, whom do I call?
  • For abuse in the community, contact the Iowa Department of Human Services at (800) 362-2178 AND your local law enforcement.
  • For abuse in a facility, contact the Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals at 1 (877) 686-0027 AND your local law enforcement.

Click here to read the article "Why I should care about elder abuse?"

For more information on Elder Abuse and IDA's efforts in preventing elder abuse, or about Senior Medicare Patrol please call Elderbridge at 1 (800) 243-0678.

Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals
Complaint Unit E-mail: hfd_complaint@dia.iowa.gov
HFD website: www.dia-HFD.state.ia.us