Adult Protective Services

Adult protective services help those age 60 or older who are in danger of harm, are unable to protect themselves and may have no one to assist them. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services supervises the state’s Adult Protective Services program.

What is elder abuse?

Broadly defined, abuse may be:

* Physical Abuse—inflicting physical pain or injury on a senior, e.g. slapping, bruising, or restraining by physical or chemical means.

* Sexual Abuse—non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.

* Neglect—the failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care, or protection for a vulnerable elder.

* Exploitation—the illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a senior for someone else's benefit.

* Emotional Abuse—inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elderly person through verbal or nonverbal acts, e.g. humiliating, intimidating, or threatening.

* Abandonment—desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.

* Self-neglect—characterized as the failure of a person to perform essential, self-care tasks and that such failure threatens his/her own health or safety.

Who abuses the elderly?

In most cases, the perpetrators are people the victim knows and trusted. Family members are the most common offenders, including adult children, spouses or significant others, grandchildren, other relatives, acquaintances, and paid caregivers.

Who can help?

Anyone with reason to believe that a vulnerable adult age 60 or older has suffered abuse, neglect, or exploitation may file a report with his or her county department of job and family services. During non-business hours, contact local law enforcement.

If you need to make a report, provide as much of the following information as possible:

* Name, address and approximate age of the person.

* Name and address of the person responsible for the person’s care

* The name and address of the alleged perpetrator, if different from the caretaker.

* The reason you suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation

* The nature and extent of the suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation

* Any other known information

Signs of Abuse

* Bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, cuts, punctures or rope marks

* Untreated injuries in various stages of healing

* Sudden changes in behavior, such as becoming upset or agitated for no visible reason

* Becoming suddenly withdraw, non-communicative or nonresponsive

* Caregiver refuses to allow visitors to see the adult alone

Signs of Neglect

* Hazardous or unsafe living conditions or arrangements, such as improper wiring or a lack of heat or running water

* Unsanitary or unclean living conditions, including excessive dirt, fleas, lice, soiled bedding, fecal or urine smell, or inadequate clothing

* Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores or poor personal hygiene

* Unattended or untreated health problems

Signs of Exploitation

* Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives who claim rights to the vulnerable adult’s affairs and possessions

* Unexplained, sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family

* Forgery of an elderly person’s signature for financial transactions or for the titles of his or her possessions

* Unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions

If you suspect that a vulnerable adult age 60 or older has suffered abuse, neglect or exploitation, call Coshocton Job and Family Services at 740-622-1020 or the Sheriff’s Office at 740-622-2411.

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