You can save a senior’s life today! Learn how on The Senior Answer, Saturday morning at 11 on 100.7 KKHT as we share how you can help Adult Protective Services protect seniors from neglect, abuse and exploitation with Rachel Portnoy with Adult Protective Services. No radio? Listen live at www.senioranswr.org or on iHeart at KKHT!!!
Do you know of a senior who needs help? You can learn more about Adult Protective Services on line at APS or call their report hotline at 1-800-252-5400. You can also make an on line services referral via the on line hotline at On Line Hotline Reporting.
Some of the topics we will explore include;
What is the mission of APS? Adult Protective Services (APS) investigates abuse, neglect and/or exploitation of the aged and disabled. When maltreatment is confirmed, APS provides or arranges services to alleviate the problem. Many people who are elderly or have disabilities live alone or are dependent on others for their care. Isolation is a factor that places vulnerable adults at risk for abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
As the population continues to age, APS will continue to see an increase in the number of reports.
More than half of all cases reported to involve neglect. Most involve self-neglect. Through illness or diminished mental capacity, vulnerable adults may no longer be able to provide adequately for their own health and safety. They may live in unsanitary conditions, without hear or running water, or may need assistance with meals and other daily activities. They may also require medical care.
Once the investigation has been completed, APS develops a service plan to address unmet needs and to ensure the safety and protection of the client. Service plans are developed with input from the client. A client with decision making capacity has the right to refuse services.
APS always starts with the least restrictive services. It is not APS protocol to remove a client from their home, this is a last resort applied only when it is a life or death scenario.
What do the terms abuse, neglect and exploitation mean?
Neglect: is the failure to provide for one’s self the goods or services, including medical services, which are necessary to avoid physical or emotional harm or pain, or the failure of a caretaker to provide such goods and services.
Types of Neglect:
• Mental health
Indicators of Neglect
• Hoarding, home in deplorable conditions or disrepair
• Malnourishment, dehydration, over/under medicating
• Lack of necessities such as food, water or utilities
• Poor personal hygiene
• Lack of medical/mental health treatment
*Physical Neglect makes up over 70% of all APS cases
Abuse: Is the negligent or willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or cruel punishment with resulting physical or emotional harm or pain.
Types of Abuse:
• Physical Abuse
• Emotional/Verbal Abuse
• Sexual Abuse
Indicators of Abuse:
• Injury that is inconsistent with the explanation
• Pain from touching
• Cuts, burns, bruises, welts
• Contradictory statements, implausible stories
• Fear of perpetrator, low self-esteem, depression
• Caretaker cursing, yelling/screaming
• Sexual transmitted disease
• Unexplained pregnancy
• Prevents vulnerable adult from speaking or to seeing others
• Anger or indifference towards vulnerable adult
• Conflicting accounts of incidents
• Talks of vulnerable adult as a burden
Exploitation: is the illegal or improper act or process of a caretaker, family member, or other individual who has an on-going relationship with a person who is elderly or disabled using or attempting to use the resources of the person who is elderly or disabled for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain without informed consent of the person who is elderly or disabled.
Signs of Financial Exploitation
• Frequent expensive gifts from vulnerable adult to caregiver
• Unpaid bills, unusual activity in bank account
• Caregivers name added to bank account
• Frequent checks made out to “cash”
• Documents (will, loan etc) signed when vulnerable adult seems incapable of understanding
• Caregivers refusal to spend money on vulnerable adult
• Signatures on documents that do not resemble vulnerable adults