If you suspect elder or dependent adult abuse, report it immediately to Dependent Adult Protective Services.

1-800-362-2178 (toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.) 

If someone is in immediate danger, call 911. If you want to request a welfare check, call local law enforcement.

Reporting is confidential.

Dependent Adult Protective Services investigates reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults:

  • 65 and older
  • or 18 and older with a disability, who are dependent and do not reside in long-term care facilities.

To report suspected abuse in a long-term care facility, contact the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals Nursing Home and Home Health Complaint Hotline at 1-877-686-0027 or email hfd_complaint@dia.iowa.gov.

If you have concerns about your quality of care, quality of life or rights as a resident/tenant, or if you have concerns on behalf of your loved one who is living in one of Iowa's long-term care facilities, contact the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 1-866-236-1430.

For a coordinated entry point to Iowa’s information and referral resources regarding long-term independent living, contact Lifelong Links online or call 1-866-468-7887.

Know the Signs of Elder Abuse

Some adults may be at higher risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Types of elder abuse include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse or exploitation
  • Neglect
  • Self-Neglect

Gather What You'll Need to Report Elder Abuse

Gather What You’ll Need to Report Elder Abuse

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 are supportive?
  • Have any actions been taken yet that address your concerns?

Report Suspected Elder 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 HHS toll-free, hotline number, which is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-362-2178.

When you submit your report, ask for the case number. Keep a copy of this case number for your records.

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.

Related Agency - Iowa Health and Human Services


Hoover Building, 1305 E. Walnut St., Des Moines, IA  50319

General - Toll Free Phone (800) 972-2017