FAQs about reporting abuse to OPG

Should I contact OPG if proceedings are already underway at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)?

If QCAT proceedings are underway regarding the decision-making arrangements for the adult, we would recommend waiting until these have been finalised before starting an investigation process. The QCAT process is often quicker than the OPG investigation process, and the outcome may mean an investigation is no longer necessary.

I think the care worker who helps my mother in her home is abusing her. Can I report this to you?

No. We are unable to investigate allegations of abuse by paid services. Your first step should be to contact the service that employers the care worker. If that doesn’t provide a satisfactory outcome, you should report the alleged abuse to the relevant oversight body, for example, you could complain about a service provider’s behaviour to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Depending on the type of alleged abuse, it may also be appropriate to notify the police. View our list of helpful organisations.

I’m concerned about my elderly neighbour. We aren’t close and I don’t know anything about her family situation but I’ve noticed her wandering around her garden looking dishevelled and underdressed and she’s lost a lot of weight. Can I report this to you?

Yes, as this could be a case of self-neglect, and it may be that an investigation would determine that she needs to have a guardian and/or administrator appointed to make sure her basic needs are being met. However note we can only investigate if there are reasonable grounds that she has impaired decision-making capacity.

Can I report abuse that happened in the past?

No. We can only investigate an allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation that is happening now.

What are my options if you don’t decide to investigate?

If we decline an investigation it is generally because it hasn’t met one of our investigation criteria. However, other organisations may be more appropriately placed to help you.

I’m concerned about a family member’s health and wellbeing and think they may be losing capacity. How can I find out if they have an Enduring Power of Attorney?

There is no register of completed Enduring Power of Attorneys in Queensland. If possible, you could check with the adult themselves and also any other people close to them who may be their appointed attorney.