ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES
Protect a National Treasure - Elder Citizens
Everyone has the right to be free from abuse and neglect. Abuse and neglect can happen in varying degrees and come in different forms: Physical abuse, abandonment, abduction, financial abuse, isolation, neglect and mental suffering.
If you think you - or an elderly or dependent adult - is being victimized, report it to Adult Protective Services (APS). In an emergency, call 911 immediately.
Who are the abusers?
Abusers may include family members, paid caregivers and friends - anyone who may be dependent on the elder for shelter or employment and who has stress or alcohol/drug, financial or emotional problems.
How to identify signs of abuse / neglect
Physical appearance - The victim is untidy, dirty, unshaven or appears to have lost weight. Bruises, burns or other pressure marks may indicate abuse.
Environment - The yard is a mess, pets are unattended or the house is dirty or in need of repair.
Behavior Changes - The victim may show confusion, extreme forgetfulness or fearfulness. Withdrawal, depression or need of medical attention may also be indicators of problems in the environment.
Financial Condition - The victim may demonstrate extreme confusion about money matters, give away money or belongings randomly, fail to pay bills or buy needed food/clothing, or be easily convinced to sign away property or control of assets.
Family History - If the family has a history of drug abuse or generational abuse/neglect, the home situation may be conducive to elder abuse.
Who are the victims?
An elder adult is defined as anyone age 65 years or older. Dependent adults are persons aged 18 - 64 who have physical or emotional limitations that restrict their ability to protect themselves.
What is the law?
Welfare & Institutions (W&I) Code 15630 mandates that any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for the care or custody of an elder or dependent adult, with or without compensation, must report any suspected abuse or neglect as soon as possible and follow up with a written report - (Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Abuse, SOC 341) - to APS within two working days. Report forms may be obtained online or from APS; completed forms should be faxed to APS at (530) 622-1543. Contact APS via the APS hotline phone number at (530) 642-4800. The phone number is active 24 hours, 7 days per week.
Any concerned person may report adult abuse/neglect anonymously (W&I Code 15631). APS does not reveal the source of any abuse report. Reporters are often the best collaborators with APS to make a protective intervention and change an undesirable situation.
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