Elder Abuse Resources

A number of government agencies provide oversight for the facilities which provide care to the elderly or dependent adults. Their essential purpose is to protect these vulnerable members of our community. As part of this oversight, these agencies accept and investigate claims from the victims of abuse and their families. Remember, when you report suspected violations, you not only protect your loved ones who may have been victimized, but you also perform a service to your community.

If you have a complaint which you believe should be investigated, it is your absolute right to request an investigation. We hope the following information will be of assistance.

California Department of Public Health

Filing complaints against an acute level hospital or a skilled nursing facility or its employees is not difficult. Although your complaint may be made by phone, fax, or mail, the most direct way is to file through the California Health Facilities Information Database. Your complaint will be routed directly to the district office with oversight authority for the offending facility. The website to access information and forms is:

California Department of Social Services

The California Department of Social Services ensures regulatory compliance for several different types of facilities. These include, but are not limited to, Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, Residential Care Facilities for the Chronically Ill, Adult Day Programs, and Adult Residential Facilities. The website explaining how to file a complaint is:

Adult Protective Services

Every county in California has an Adult Protective Services Agency. These agencies are in place to help elder adults (65 years and older) and dependent adults (18-64 who are disabled), when these adults are unable to meet their own needs or are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation.  County APS agencies investigate reports of abuse of elders and dependent adults who live in private homes, apartments, hotels, or hospitals. APS also provides information and referrals to other agencies and educates the public about reporting requirements and responsibilities under the Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Reporting laws. The website to access information about and guidance from APS is:


The Ombudsman is an important resource for residents and their family members. Simply stated, the Ombudsman is the resident’s advocate. Free of charge, the Ombudsman is in place to provide guidance and assistance for residents of long-term care facilities. Any complaints to the Ombudsman are kept confidential. The types of problems where an Ombudsman can be of assistance include:

  • Violation of residents’ rights or dignity;
  • Physical, verbal, mental, or financial abuse;
  • Poor quality of care;
  • Dietary concerns;
  • Medical care, therapy, and rehabilitation issues;
  • Medicare and Medi-Cal benefit issues;
  • Improper transfer or discharge of a resident;
  • Inappropriate use of chemical or physical restraints.

For more important information about the Ombudsman program or to contact an Ombudsman, use this website:

Medicare and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

There is great deal of easily available valuable information about Medicare and the agency which administers its programs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (commonly referred to as CMS). This important information can be found at: