Elder Protection Laws in Louisiana A special agency to investigate – Elderly Protective Services Mandatory Reporting of abuse Special financial abuse laws for the protection of the infirm
Elder Abuse is a Crime Louisiana law protects adults aged 60 or older from acts or omissions which result in physical or emotional abuse and neglect, inflicted by caregivers and from self-neglect by an individual. Louisiana law also protects seniors from acts of financial exploitation and extortion.
Financial extortion or exploitation, such as theft or misuse of money, property or possessions of the elder.
Exploitation of the infirmed is: (1) The intentional expenditure, diminution, or use by any person, including a caregiver, of the property or assets of the infirmed, a disabled adult, or an aged person, … without the express voluntary consent of the resident or the consent of a legally authorized representative of an incompetent resident, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.
Exploitation of the infirmed is: (2) The use of an infirmed person's, or aged person's, or disabled adult's power of attorney or guardianship for one's own profit or advantage by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations. La. R.S. 14:93.4
Mandatory Reporting La. R.S. 15:1504 requires reporting of abuse by ANY PERSON “having cause to believe that an adult's physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be further adversely affected by abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall report in accordance with R.S. 15:1505.” Failure to report is punishable by up to six months imprisonment and/or a five-hundred dollar fine. R.S. 14:403.2.
Who do I call? R.S. 15:1505. Contents of report and agency to receive report Report shall be made to any adult protection agency or to any local or state law enforcement agency. Need not name the persons suspected Contain, name and address of the adult, the name and address of the person responsible for the care of the adult, if available, and any other pertinent information.
To Contact EPS Hammond Region: Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington Phone: (985) 543-4036 Toll-Free : (800) 533-1297 Fax: (985) 543-4038 State office Hotline: 800-259-4990 http://goea.louisiana.gov/eps.htm
The Office of Aging and Adult Services (OAAS), Adult Protective Services (APS) DHH as the agency responsible for carrying out the mandate of 14:403.2 with regard to adults with disabilities ages 18-59 (225) 342-9057 or (800) 898-4910 Fax (225) 342-9069 http://www.dhh.state.la.us/offices/Default.asp?ID=95&Print=1
R.S. 15:1507. Investigation of reports, assessment, actions taken, and court orders Elderly Protective Services or Dept. Health & Hospitals (fact dependent) shall investigate Face to face interview with adult Access to any records or documents, including client-identifying information and medical, psychological, criminal or financial records necessary… Agency is exempt from payment of fees for records
Mandatory Reporting Licensed Health Care Providers R.S. 40:2009.20. Duty to make complaints; penalty; immunity B.(1) Any person who is engaged in the practice of medicine, social services, facility administration, psychological or psychiatric services; or any registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, nurse's aide, personal care attendant, respite worker, physician's assistant, physical therapist, or any other direct caregiver having knowledge that a consumer's physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be further adversely affected by abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall, within twenty-four hours, submit a report to the department (Dept. of Health and Hospitals) or inform the unit or local law enforcement agency of such abuse or neglect. …. (2) Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than two months, or both. C. Any person, other than the person alleged to be responsible for the abuse or neglect, reporting pursuant to this Section in good faith shall have immunity from any civil liability… D. All hospitals shall permanently display in a prominent location in their emergency rooms a copy of R.S. 40:2009.20. *Older than R.S. 15:1504.
Individual Duty While hospitals, and health care related companies may have reporting mechanisms in place Mandatory reporting applies to INDIVIDUALS Reporting to the company does not absolve the individual of responsibility
Administrators and Physicians Potential Civil Liability Potential Criminal Liability Negligence A duty to inform: delay reporting allegations of child or elder abuse even—for internal investigations—and you could land in jail A duty to inform: delay reporting allegations of child or elder abuse even—for internal investigations—and you could land in jail - Safety & Security Agenda, HR Magazine, September 2003, Diane Cadrain The importance of reporting mistreatment of the elderly American Family Physician, March 1, 2007 by Lisa M. Gibbs, Laura Mosqueda
Immunity Any person “who in good faith makes a report, cooperates in an investigation by an adult protective agency, or participates in judicial proceedings authorized under the provisions of this Chapter,” “shall have immunity from civil or criminal liability that otherwise might be incurred or imposed. …” R.S. 15:1504
Multiple criminal statutes apply specifically to elderly victims 14:35.2 Simple battery of the infirm. Minimum 30 days 14:42 Aggravated Rape.
Multiple criminal statutes apply specifically to elderly victims 14:50.2 Perpetration or attempted perpetration of certain crimes of violence against a victim sixty-five years of age or older. Adds 3 years to maximum, at court’s discretion.. 14:67.16 C. (1) (b) Identity theft. If victim 60 years of age or older, minimum goes from 0 years to 2 years.
Multiple criminal statutes apply specifically to elderly victims 14:67.21 Theft of assets of aged person, 14:93.3 Cruelty to the infirmed,
Multiple criminal statutes apply specifically to elderly victims 14:93.4 Exploitation of the infirmed, 14:93.5 Sexual battery of the infirm,
§61. Elderly abuse; release of information A.(1) The Department of Health and Hospitals shall, … make available to any health care facility licensed by the department, upon request, the name and a photograph of any such person who has been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to a crime involving elderly abuse.
A Note on Visitors The Elderly Person Is Always In Charge Of Visitors NOT a relative NOT a person with Power of Attorney Only where Committed or Interdicted does this change
How to report suspected abuse or neglect: EPS Statewide Hotline (from within Louisiana only) at 1-(800) 259-4990 If out-of-state, call 1-(225) 342-9722. Call your local law enforcement agency. In an emergency call 911. Return to main menu
Can I Look Up The Law? Yes! The Louisiana Legislature web site has a searchable database of current law at: http://www.legis.state.la.us/ http://www.legis.state.la.us/