Adult Protective Services program provides emergency intervention to dependent adults and seniors. APS investigates allegations of abuse, intervenes when necessary, and provides community resources and education. Services are provided without regard to income, to assure that elderly and dependent adults who live in the community and who are in danger of neglect, abuse or exploitation receive prompt intervention to investigate and mitigate abuse.
Adult Protective Services (APS) investigates allegations of abuse and or neglect to elder or dependent adults who are unable to protect their own interest; to prevent or remedy danger, while adhering to these principles:
- Adults have the right to be safe.
- Adults retain all their civil and constitutional rights (the right to live their lives as they wish, manage their own finances, enter into contracts and marry etc. unless a court adjudicates otherwise).
- Adults have the right to make decisions that do not conform with societal norms as long as these decisions do not harm others
Who is an Elder /Dependent Adult?
An "Elder" means any person who is 60 years of age or older.
A "Dependent Adult" means any person who is between the ages of 18 and 59, who has physical or mental limitations which restrict his or her ability to carry out normal activities, or to protect his or her own rights, including, but not limited to, persons who have physical or developmental disabilities, or whose physical or mental abilities have been diminished because of age. This includes any person between the ages of 18 and 59 who is admitted as an inpatient to a 24-hour health care facility.
What is Elder/Dependent Abuse
Types of Abuse:
- Physical Abuse: Indicators of physical abuse: bruising, lacerations, burns, malnutrition, open wounds
- Sexual Abuse: Nonconsensual sexual contact of any kind with an elder or dependent adult, if an elder is mentally impaired, consent can usually not be given. In many cases dependent adults are unable to provide legal consent.
- Financial Abuse: The theft or embezzlement of money or property of an elder or dependent adult by: (1) Caretaker or a person in a position of trust with the elder/dependent adult or; (2) a person, who does not serve as a caretaker for the elder/dependent adult, but knows or reasonably should know the victim is an elder/dependent adult.
- Emotional Abuse: The infliction of distress, anguish or pain through verbal and/or non-verbal actions on an elder/dependent adult. Any behavior that causes mental suffering, such as severe depression, fear, agitation, confusion or other forms of serious emotional distress.
- Neglect/Self- Neglect: Neglect (by others) occurs when any person having the care or custody of an elder/dependent adult fails to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs, fails to protect the elder/dependent adult from health and safety hazards and/or fails to prevent malnutrition or dehydration. Self-Neglect when an elder/dependent adult fails to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs, fails to protect themselves against health and safety hazards and/or fails to prevent malnutrition or dehydration.
What happens after an APS report is made
- Trained APS professional will assess the information and determine whether or not APS will respond.
- If APS does respond the response time will be determined by the APS Supervisor.
- Immediate Response: If the Elder/Dependent Adult is thought to be in immediate danger
- Within 10-days if there is not an immediate danger to the Elder/Dependent Adult.
How to report Elder/Dependent Abuse