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Mandatory Abuse Reporting (Act 13-1997)

The Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA), which was amended by Act 13 of 1997, mandates reporting requirements on suspected abuse.  Any employee or administrator of a facility who suspects abuse is mandated to report the abuse.  All reports of abuse should be reported to the local area agency on aging (AAA) and licensing agencies.  If the suspected abuse is sexual abuse, serious physical injury, serious bodily injury, or suspicious death as defined under OAPSA, the law requires additional reporting to the Department of Aging and local law enforcement—when an abuse is defined as a “suspicious death,” a report must be made to the coroner.

Definitions of Abuse requiring additional reporting:

Sexual Abuse—intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing or attempting to cause rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault or incest. Sexual Harassment requires reporting to the AAA only.

Serious Physical Injury—an injury that causes a person severe pain or significantly impairs a person’s physical functioning, either temporarily or permanently.

Serious Bodily Injury—an injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body member or organ.

Suspicious Death—a death that would arouse suspicion or is questionable.

Facilities defined under OAPSA include:

  • Adult Daily Living Centers
  • Personal Care Homes
  • Assisted Living Residences
  • Birth Centers
  • Community Homes for Individuals with Mental Retardation
  • Community Residential Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Nursing Facilities
  • DPW-licensed and DPW operated residential facilities for adults
  • Domiciliary Care Homes
  • Family Living Homes
  • *Home Health Care Organization or Agency
  • Hospices
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded (private and state)
  • Long Term Care Nursing Facilities
  • Long Term Structured Residences
  • Personal Care Homes
  • State Mental Hospitals

*Home Health Care Agency is further defined to include those agencies licensed by the Department of Health and any public or private organization which provides care to a care-dependent individual in their place of residence.


Any administrator and/or employee of specified facilities are required to report if they have reasonable cause to suspect that an individual is a victim of abuse.

Learn More

Mandatory Abuse Reporting (Act 13 1997) for more information on reporting and the different circumstances that warrant voluntary or mandatory reporting.
Area Agencies on Aging


PA Department of Aging
Bureau for Advocacy
555 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1919
Phone: (717) 265-7887
Fax:  (717) 772-2668