Frequently Asked Questions

What is dependent adult abuse?

Dependent Adult abuse includes:
 
  • Any of the following as a result of the willful or negligent acts or omissions of a caretaker
    • Physical injury to, or injury which is at a variance with the history given of the injury, or unreasonable confinement, unreasonable punishment, or assault of a dependent adult.
    • The commission of a sexual offense under chapter 709 or section 726.2 with or against a dependent adult.
    • Exploitation of a dependent adult which means the act or process of taking unfair advantage of a dependent adult or the adult’s physical or financial resources, without the informed consent of the dependent adult, including theft, by the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, deception, false representation, or false pretenses.
    • 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.
  • The deprivation of the minimum food, shelter, clothing, supervision, physical or mental health care, and other care necessary to maintain a dependent adult’s life or health as a result of the acts or omissions of a dependent adult.
  • Sexual exploitation of a dependent adult by a caretaker as defined in section 702.17.
  • Personal Degradation of a dependent adult by a caretaker which means a willful act or statement by a caretaker intended to shame, degrade, humiliate, or otherwise harm the personal dignity of a dependent adult, or where the caretaker knew or reasonably should have known the act or statement would cause shame, degradation, humiliation, or harm to the personal dignity of a reasonable person.

How I do I report suspected dependent adult abuse?

This website is not a reporting site for dependent adult abuse.

Please contact 1-800-362-2178 to report dependent adult abuse.

  • An employee of a financial institution may report suspected financial exploitation of a dependent adult to DHS.
  • Any other person who believes that a dependent adult has suffered abuse may report the suspected abuse to the department of human services.

How and When to Report suspected abuse?

  • If you are seeking to report dependent adult abuse in a nursing facility or hospital by a staff member, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., contact the Department of Inspections and Appeals: 1-877-686-0027 or hfd_complaint@dia.iowa.gov
    • After hours, on weekends, or holidays, contact:1-800-362-2178
  • If you want to report any other abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect of a dependent adult, please call the DHS toll-free, hotline number, which is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-362-2178

What information do I need when making a report?

The following information is useful when making a report of suspected dependent adult abuse:

  • Name and address of the alleged victim.
  • A description of the alleged mistreatment and the situation; what did you observe?
  • What is the nature and extent of the injury?
  • Who is the alleged perpetrator; name and address if possible.
  • Does the alleged perpetrator have access to the alleged victim?
  • Any other information that you feel is relevant.
  • Other information that will be helpful to provide when making the report includes:
  • What prompted the call today?  Did something happen?
  • How is the adult being mistreated?  When did you last see the adult?
  • Does the adult have any medical or physical conditions that impair the adult's ability to provide for day-to-day needs?
  • Does the adult have a diagnosed mental illness or show signs of a mental illness?
  • Does the adult have any problems with memory, decision making, or understanding how to care for him/herself?
  • Does the adult have any developmental, intellectual, or cognitive disability that is impairing the ability for self-care?
  • Has there been any decline in the adult's ability to adequately do cooking, shopping, using available transportation, managing medications, or mobility?
  • Is the adult working with any service providers to address his/her needs?  Any friends or family that is supportive?
  • Have any actions been taken yet that address your concerns?

What can my family expect during the dependent adult assessment?

During the assessment, the social worker will ask to visit your home, speak with the dependent adult and caretakers, and other persons with relevant information to gather an understanding of what your household is experiencing.

  • The social worker will work with the adult in need of care as well as with the household to assess safety and risk.
  • After you help the social worker understand the unique strengths and needs of your situation, the social worker helps connect you and possibly your caretaker to services.
  • Services at the conclusion of the assessment are typically voluntary.

 


Dependent Adult Protective Services 
1-800-362-2178 (toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
To report abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect of a dependent adult, please call the toll-free number above.

If a person is in imminent danger, call 911.

Do NOT email a report of abuse, neglect or exploitation as this email is not monitored during non-business hours and could result in a delayed response to the report.