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Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation

You trust that your provider, caregiver or loved one will take care of you. You believe they will always have your best interests in mind. Sometimes, when someone helps take care of you, they can take advantage of you. It is important to recognize the signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. If this happens, it is important to report it. This allows you to be safe and get the care you need.

Abuse: Causing any physical, sexual or mental injury to you. This can also be taking advantage of your financial resources.

  • Physical abuse. Any inappropriate contact that causes bodily harm. For example, being slapped, scratched, or pushed. Being threatened with a weapon, such as a knife or a gun, is another example.
  • Sexual abuse. Any sexual behavior or intimate physical contact that occurs without your permission. This can be touching your genital area, buttocks or breasts.
  • Mental abuse. When you feel emotional distress resulting from the use of demeaning or threatening words. This can also include signs, gestures and other actions. For example, controlling behavior, embarrassment or social isolation are types of mental abuse.
  • Financial Abuse. When someone uses your money without your consent. This includes improper use of guardianship or power of attorney.

Neglect: Neglect occurs when someone fails to provide or withholds the necessities of life from you. This includes food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.

Exploitation: The misuse or withholding of a members assets and resources (belongings and money).  This includes, but is not limited to, misappropriation of assets or resources of the alleged victim by undue influence, by breach of fiduciary relationship, by fraud, deception, extortion, or in any manner contrary to law.

What can you do to help prevent, report, and stop abuse, neglect, and exploitation?

  • MeridianTotal Provider Services: 1-866-329-4701 (TTY: 711)
  • Office of Inspector General: 1-800-368-1463 (TTY: 711)
  • Department on Aging: 1-866-800-1409 (TTY: 711)
  • Senior Help Line: 1-800-252-8966 (TTY: 711)
  • Department of Public Health: 1-800-252-4343 (TTY: 711)

For questions call MeridianTotal Member Services at 1-877-941-0482. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. After hours, on weekends and on holidays, you may be asked to leave a message. Your call will be returned within the next business day. TTY users call 711. The call is free. All information will be kept private.