Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Responsibilities with Regards to Responding to Abuse and Neglect

When responding to alleged or suspected abuse and neglect:

  • Know your professional practice standards;
    (link to regulatory bodies in Canada:
  • know if the law requires any particular action with regard to the alleged or suspected abuse and neglect;
  • know your organizational policies and procedures that apply to the alleged or suspected abuse and neglect;
  • determine who will  be involved in decision making (including the older adult);
  • determine what resources are available to assist in responding appropriately (e.g., board of ethics, collaborative team that helps to address abuse and neglect in your organization etc.);
  • determine what other supports can be offered to the older adult, such as emotional support and referrals;
  • determine what other follow-up may be required within your organization;
  • Understand that reporting abuse or neglect is not always mandated or appropriate (e.g., when a competent older adult chooses to remain in an abusive relationship);
  • understand that filing of a report is not the end of one’s obligation to address abuse or neglect;
  • maintain documentation. 
Older Adults
Preventing and Addressing Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults: Person-Centred, Collaborative, System-Wide Approaches
Point of Care Resources