Mandatory Reporting Requirements: The Elderly

Last Updated: April 2023
Question Answer

Who is required to report?

  • Any person, including but not limited to physician, law enforcement officer, nurse, social worker, cabinet personnel, coroner, medical examiner, alternate care facility employee, or caretaker.

When is a report required and where does it go?

When is a report required?

  • Reasonable cause to suspect that an adult has suffered abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Where does it go?

  • Abuse should be reported to the 24 hour toll free hotline 1-877-597-2331 (1-877 KYSAFE1). Calls can be made anonymously.
  • Reports can also be filed at

What definitions are important to know?

  • “Abuse” means the infliction of injury, sexual abuse, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment that results in physical pain or injury, including mental injury.
  • “Adult” means a person who is 18 years of age or older who, because of mental or physical dysfunctioning, is unable to manage his or her own resources, carry out the activity of daily living, or protect himself or herself from neglect, exploitation, or a hazardous or abusive situation without assistance from others, and who may be in need of protective services.
  • “Caretaker” means an individual or institution who has been entrusted with or who has the responsibility for the care of the adult as a result of family relationship, or who has assumed the responsibility for the care of the adult person voluntarily or by contract, employment, legal duty, or agreement.
  • “Deception” means but is not limited to:
  1. Creating or reinforcing a false impression, including a false impression as to law, value, intention, or other state of mind;
  2. Preventing another from acquiring information that would affect his or her judgment of a transaction; or
  3. Failing to correct a false impression that the deceiver previously created or reinforced, or that the deceiver knows to be influencing another to whom the person stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship.
  • “Exploitation” means obtaining or using another person’s resources, including but not limited to funds, assets, or property, by deception, intimidation, or similar means, with the intent to deprive the person of those resources.
  • “Neglect” means a situation in which an adult is unable to perform or obtain for himself or herself the goods or services that are necessary to maintain his or her health or welfare, or the deprivation of services by a caretaker that are necessary to maintain the health and welfare of an adult.

What timing and procedural requirements apply to reports?

  • Oral or written report shall be made immediately.

What information must a report include?

  • All reports shall contain, if known:
    • Name and address of the adult, or of any other person responsible for the adult’s care;
    • The adult’s age;
    • The nature and extent of the abuse, neglect, or exploitation, including any evidence of previous abuse, neglect or exploitation;
    • Identity of perpetrator, if known;
    • Identity of complainant, if possible; and
    • Any other information that reporter believes might be helpful in establishing the cause of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Anything else I should know?

  • Death of the adult does not relieve one of the responsibility for reporting the circumstances surrounding the death.
  • Anyone who knowingly or wantonly fails to report is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
  • Anyone acting upon reasonable cause in the making of a report shall have immunity from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. The reporter shall have the same immunity with respect to participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report.

Statutory citation(s):

K.R.S. §§ 209.020, 209.030, 209.050, 209.990.

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