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Lake County, Ohio - Job and Family Services

Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective ServicesThis Department also is mandated to investigate referrals involving adults 60 years of age and older who live in the community and who are alleged to be abused, neglected or exploited. The assigned social worker is responsible for meeting with the client to assess the alleged concerns and linking that client to appropriate services within the community, including but not limited to home delivered meals, in-home care, probate court and financial assistance.Adult Protective Services

Maltreatment of elders may be intentional or unintentional.  Some forms are the result of action or inaction on the part of the older person themselves which leaves them at risk.  Often, older persons neglect themselves by refusing supportive services, not taking their medication, or living in an unsafe or unsanitary environment.  Care givers may abuse, neglect, or exploit those for whom they provide care.

    • To prevent, reduce, or remedy conditions causing endangerment to the elderly.
    • To maximize the adult's independence and self-determination.
    • To keep the adult safe in the least restrictive environment possible, or their own home.
    • To educate family members about available supportive services in the community and assist in linking families to service providers.

    What is Elder Maltreatment?

    Maltreatment of elders may be intentional or unintentional.  Some forms are the result of action or inaction on the part of the older person themselves which leaves them at risk. Often, older persons neglect themselves by refusing supportive services, not taking their medication, or living in an unsafe or unsanitary environment. Care givers may abuse, neglect, or exploit those for whom they provide care.

    Elder Maltreatment Includes:

    • Physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse
    • Neglect or Self-Neglect
    • Financial Exploitation by a care giver
    • Unreasonable confinement
    • Untreated Medical Needs

    What are the Indicators of Maltreatment?

    ABUSE:

    • unexplained multiple/severe bruises, burns, welts, broken bones, open wounds
    • restrained, tied to bed, chair, or locked in a room
    • demonstrates fear of care giver
    • intimidation, threats, or coercion

    NEGLECT:

    • untreated medical condition
    • lacks needed supervision
    • malnourishment/dehydration
    • dirt, fleas, lice on person, fecal or urine odor
    • no heat, running water, electricity, or homeless
    • inadequate food supply
    • hazardous living conditions
    • history of falls/difficulty ambulating

    EXPLOITATION:

    • unexplained disappearance of funds and/or valuables
    • misuse of money or property by care giver
    • depleted bank account
    • adult complains that they do not know what  happened to their money

    Who Reports Elder Maltreatment?

    The Adult Protective Services law (ORC 5101.61) requires most professional and para professional social service and senior service providers to report known or suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation.  The list of required reporters includes:

    • Physicians
    • Police Officers
    • Attorneys
    • Hospital Employees
    • Social Workers
    • Home Health Employees

    Failure to report could subject the person to a fine of not more than $500. Any citizen who suspects elder maltreatment is encouraged to report.

    ANY PERSON who makes a report or who testifies in any administrative or judicial proceeding is immune from civil or criminal liability because of such report. However, persons are liable for perjury and actions of bad faith or malicious purpose.

    18% of the total population in Lake County is over the age of 60. As the Baby Boom generation reaches this age range, the percentage of elderly persons will increase dramatically. Between July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006, 14,797 reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders 60 and over were received by the County Departments of Job and Family Services in Ohio.

    Most often, maltreated elders are victimized by a family member or care giver for reasons that include:

    • Stress
    • Substance Abuse
    • Unresolved Conflict
    • Mental Illness
    • Financial Problems
    • Physical Limitations