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Elder abuse: what to do?

Verified 06 April 2020 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

The elderly victim of abuse may make a report. Any person who witnesses or is informed of a situation of abuse of an elderly person must also make a report. The place of residence of the elderly does not matter. If the witness is aware of the abuse in the course of his work, while he is subject to professional secrecy (e.g. medical confidentiality), he must still make a report, but according to special rules.

General case

Abuse refers to all forms of physical or psychological violence. Whether it is beatings, bullying or deprivation.

Passive behavior, if it harms the elderly, is also considered abuse: deprivation of care, food, abandonment in any place...

Anyone who is aware of a situation of abuse of an elderly person in a nursing home must notify the prefect, regardless of the seriousness of the situation. An employee of a nursing home who has reported a case of ill-treatment in his or her institution may not be punished for his or her reporting. The prefect can be alerted on the spot, by telephone, by mail or by email.

Who shall I contact

Advice can be obtained by calling the 3977 dedicated contact center.

FYI  

if the perpetrator is a doctor, you can also notify the medical board.

The author of the report must provide any information concerning the ill-treatment of which he is aware.

Failure to report a situation of ill-treatment of an elderly person of which one is aware may be punished by 3 years in prison and €25,000 fine.

Abuse refers to all forms of physical or psychological violence. Whether it is beatings, bullying or deprivation.

Passive behavior, if it harms the elderly, is also considered abuse: deprivation of care, food, abandonment in any place...

Anyone who is aware of a situation of elder abuse in a public or private care facility must notify the Regional Health Agency (RHA), regardless of the seriousness of the situation. A hospital officer who has reported a case of ill-treatment in his or her institution may not be punished for his or her reporting.

To make the report, you must go to the relevant LRA website for the city concerned and follow the procedure for reporting a public health risk.

Advice can be obtained by calling the 3977 dedicated contact center.

FYI  

if the perpetrator is a doctor, you can also notify the medical board.

The author of the report must provide any information concerning the ill-treatment of which he is aware.

Failure to report a situation of ill-treatment of an elderly person of which one is aware may be punished by 3 years in prison and €25,000 fine.

Abuse refers to all forms of physical or psychological violence. Whether it is beatings, bullying or deprivation.

Passive behavior, if it harms the elderly, is also considered abuse: deprivation of care, food, abandonment in any place...

These acts are punished by whomever they are: family, personal doctor, home help...

Any person who has knowledge of a situation of mistreatment of an elderly person should notify the competent public prosecutor, regardless of the seriousness of the situation.

Advice can be obtained by calling the 3977 dedicated contact center.

FYI  

if the perpetrator is a doctor, you can also notify the medical board.

The author of the report must provide any information concerning the ill-treatment of which he is aware.

Failure to report a situation of ill-treatment of an elderly person of which one is aware may be punished by 3 years in prison and €25,000 fine.

Witness subject to professional secrecy

Abuse refers to all forms of physical or psychological violence. Whether it is beatings, bullying or deprivation.

Passive behavior, if it harms the elderly, is also considered abuse: deprivation of care, food, abandonment in any place...

A professional who witnesses a situation of abuse of an elderly person in a nursing home must alert the prefect:

  • If there is deprivation (of care, food) or abuse (physical or psychological)
  • If there is a risk of suicide or harm to life by the use of a weapon

A doctor in a nursing home who has reported a case of ill-treatment in his institution cannot be punished because of his report.

The prefect can be alerted on the spot, by telephone, by mail or by email.

Who shall I contact

Advice can be obtained by calling the 3977 dedicated contact center.

Due to professional secrecy, a doctor is only required to report the facts: he does not have to denounce their author, even if he knows him.

Failure to report a situation of ill-treatment of an elderly person of which one is aware may be punished by 3 years in prison and €25,000 fine.

Abuse refers to all forms of physical or psychological violence. Whether it is beatings, bullying or deprivation.

Passive behavior, if it harms the elderly, is also considered abuse: deprivation of care, food, abandonment in any place...

A professional who witnesses a situation of elder abuse in a care facility must alert the Regional Health Agency (RHA):

  • If there is deprivation (of care, food) or abuse (physical or psychological)
  • If there is a risk of suicide or harm to life by the use of a weapon

The report must be made, whether the victim is in a public hospital or in a private care facility.

A doctor who has reported a case of ill-treatment in his institution cannot be punished for his report.

To make the report, you must go to the website of the LRA responsible for the city and follow the procedure for reporting a risk to public health.

Advice can be obtained by calling the 3977 dedicated contact center.

FYI  

if the perpetrator is a doctor, you can also notify the medical board.

Due to professional secrecy, a doctor is only required to report the facts: he does not have to denounce their author, even if he knows him.

Failure to report a situation of ill-treatment of an elderly person of which one is aware may be punished by 3 years in prison and €25,000 fine.

Abuse refers to all forms of physical or psychological violence. Whether it is beatings, bullying or deprivation.

Passive behavior, if it harms the elderly, is also considered abuse: deprivation of care, food, abandonment in any place...

Such acts shall be punished, irrespective of their perpetrators: family, personal doctor, home help...

The professional who witnesses a situation of abuse of an elderly person must also alert the public prosecutor:

  • deprivation (of care, food) or abuse (physical or psychological),
  • there is a risk of suicide or harm to the life of others by the use of a weapon.

Advice can be obtained by calling the 3977 dedicated contact center.

FYI  

if the perpetrator is a doctor, you can also notify the medical board.

The author of the report must provide all information concerning the ill-treatment of which he is aware.

By way of exception, a doctor is only required to report the facts ascertained, because of professional secrecy: he does not have to denounce their author, even if he knows him.

Failure to report a situation of ill-treatment of an elderly person of which one is aware may be punished by 3 years in prison and €25,000 fine.