Protective Services Additional Information
What is physical abuse?
Physical abuse is the non-accidental infliction of serious injuries, such as fractures, bruises, cuts, or burns. These injuries may be caused by use of a weapon, pushing, grabbing, or by physically restraining an elder.
What is emotional abuse?
Emotional abuse is any deliberate use of language or behavior against an elder which causes severe anxiety, fear, depression, or other extreme emotional reaction. Emotional abuse can be caused by threats, isolation, insults, or intimidation of an elder.
What is neglect?
Neglect is the failure or refusal of a caretaker to provide the necessities essential for physical well-being, such as food, shelter, clothing, personal care, or medical care. A caretaker is a person who has assumed the responsibility of ensuring that an elder receives the care that he/she needs. This person may be a family member or anyone with a fiduciary or contractual relationship with the elder.
What is financial exploitation?
Financial exploitation is the substantial monetary or property loss to an elderly person caused by fraud, duress, trickery, deceit, or by threat of force.
What is self-neglect?
Self-neglecting elders are individuals who are unable to meet their essential needs for food, clothing, safe and secure shelter, personal care, supervision, and medical care, due to mental or physical impairments, substance abuse, cultural or linguistic barriers, and who are unable to remain safely in the community without assistance.
Protection of adults seeks to achieve simultaneously and in order of importance: freedom, safety, the least disruption of lifestyle, and the least restrictive care alternative.
Who should report Elder Abuse?
Anyone who has reasonable cause to believe that an elder has been abused or is self-neglecting should report it. Some professionals are mandated by law to report elder abuse and self-neglect including physicians, nurses, social workers, police officers, firefighters/EMTs, and home health aides. Anyone who reports alleged abuse in good faith shall not be liable in any civil or criminal action. The identity of the reporter is kept confidential.
After making an oral report, the Mandated Reporter form should be completed and returned within 48 hours to the designated Protective Service Agency.
What happens after a report is made?
A Protective Services caseworker will conduct an assessment to determine if abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or self-neglect has occurred. If confirmed, the caseworker will coordinate the services necessary to alleviate the harm. Services may include referrals for medical care, in-home assistance, or legal resources. Certain situations may require police or district attorney intervention as well. Services may only be provided in accordance with the elder's wishes unless the elder lacks the capacity to consent.
How do I report Elder Abuse?
To report Elder Abuse call 1-800-922-2275 (Operating 7 days a week 24 hours a day.)