Every state operates differently. Elder abuse lawyers and state officials advocating for the elderly are always looking at the procedures of other states to find out what is working in the fight against abuse and neglect.
New legislation is waiting the approval of the governor in California to develop a secure website for police, doctors, and other authorities to report suspected elder abuse and neglect. The current system in California, and in a good portion of the country, involves a phone call to the state’s elder abuse hotline to report all forms of suspected abuse. The biggest flaw with the hotline, however, seems to be that, because it is used by both lay citizens and legally obligated authorities to report abuse or neglect, callers deal with long wait-times which in turn causes frustration and hang-ups.
The proposal in California suggests a reporting website for police and other civic authorities which would eliminate a large portion of the callers and lessen wait times, allowing the public to speak to a representative faster. The goal, of course, would be to create an easier reporting process for individuals with information, reducing the number of hang-ups and encouraging more people to come forward. According to a 2010 study of county calls, one in four callers hang up rather than wait while they are placed on hold. Developing a website and separating callers would also speed up the reporting process for doctors and police who do not have time to sit and wait through hour-long wait times to report suspected abuse.
“This effective reporting system will ensure that our seniors’ voices are heard and abuses are not overlooked,” said Sen. Juan Vargas, a San Diego Democrat who carried the bill.
Reporting Elder Abuse in New Jersey
As elder abuse lawyers, we know how frustrating the long wait times can be for the elder abuse hotlines. Phone representatives for these hotlines work very hard to keep up with an influx of calls while getting all necessary details, but this often results in a lot of waiting. Approving proposed legislation to ease the process almost seems like a no-brainer. Elder abuse lawyers at the Mininno Law Office hope to see that this legislation is passed and similar systems start to pop up nation wide.
The New Jersey Ombudsman’s Office works to investigate allegations of elderly abuse and neglect. You can report any suspicions anonymously by calling their 24 hour toll-free hotline toll at 1-877-582-6995, or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. We feel that anonymity is very important for those who could lose their job or feel uncomfortable revealing potential elder abuse. The problem with the current New Jersey system is that the only way to anonymously report abuse is to call and wait to speak to a representative. A website similar to the one being proposed in California for the general public would allow someone to report abuse over the internet without having to use their email address. An anonymous secure website would be an efficient and quick way to report elder abuse to state authorities.
Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If your loved one is currently a resident of a nursing home or care facility and you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate , contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation with an elder abuse lawyer. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.