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Adult Protective Service Questions

There are often times when an older adult reaches a point where they can no longer physically take care of themselves, often there are family members that are there for these individuals and can intervene before things get bad. But what happens to those who have no family, who have no one to turn to, are too proud to ask for help? It is at the point where Adult Protective Services may step in. Below are questions that have been asked about Adult Protective Services that have been answered by Experts

What is Adult Protective Services?

Adult Protective Services, also known as APS, is a form of social services that is provided for those adults who are abused, disabled, exploited, or neglected. Adult Protective Services are usually managed by each state’s department that is the regulatory on health and aging. Each state has their own requirements as to who qualifies for Adult Protective Services, in most cases the individual must be over the age of 60, but there are some states that set the age requirement at 18. The services that are provided for these individuals include intervention with a court ordered legal guardian and investigation of suspected mistreatment and abuse. The Adult Protective Services is intended to protect those adults who may be susceptible because of their health issues, dementia, or their increasing age. The forms of abuse that these individuals may endure can range from emotional abuse to physical abuse, even sexual abuse. They may end up being exploited for their money, and this often happens and is done by someone close to them. The same caregivers who may be exploiting them, may also not be taking care of them in the way they should be which may be classified as neglect. Those individuals who do not have anyone else looking out for them or taking care of them may also need Adult Protective Services due to their own self neglect, where they are not taking care of themselves for reasons that can range from increasing cognition problems to physically being unable to care for themselves anymore.

Can Adult Protective Service case workers mandate who lives with them?

In some cases this can be possible for an Adult Protective Services case worker can tell an individual that their family member can no longer live with them. The Adult Protective Services is much like Child Protective Services in that they have a right to remove an older adult from their family, if after their investigation they feel that the environment is not safe for the older adult. If a person feels that the investigation in their case missed things that might have turned the decision around, that individual can hire a lawyer and go to court to possibly get legal guardianship and to make those things missed known.

Can an individual that has been accused of abuse by Adult Protective Services face jail time?

In some situations, when an individual that has been accused of abuse by Adult Protective Services can in fact face a punishment of time in jail. The accusation of abuse by Adult Protective Services alone is not enough to get an individual put into jail. Adult Protective Services often will ask the District Attorney to file a criminal complaint against the alleged individual if the meet the legal definition of neglect. The legal definition of neglect is the failure of the individual known as the care giver to provide the services and goods, medical services included to avoid harm, be it physical or emotional or pain. There are always many different ways that an individual may be charged, but that will all depend on the facts of each individual case.

Is it possible for a disabled adult to refuse the services of Adult Protective Services?

When dealing with an adult it is possible for a disabled adult to refuse the services of Adult Protective Services and this refusal must be respected. However the problem of if the individual is cognitively aware enough to make that decision is raised. For an individual to be able to make a decision they have to be able to understand the consequences of the refusal and be able to show that they are indeed capable to taking care of themselves. It may also need to be shown that the individual was not under the influence of any medications, drugs, or alcohol at the time of the refusal. 

Adult Protective Services is a service that is provided by the states and managed by the department that regulates health and aging. These services can range from investigating a complaint of exploitation to intervening for an individual who can no longer take care of themselves, in the way of a court ordered legal guardian. Adult Protective Services can remove an older adult from the family home if they feel after their investigation that the older individual is not safe or is not receiving the care they need in the family home. Those individuals that have been accused of abuse by Adult Protective Services can face jail time if their actions fall within the legal definition of neglect. If an individual wants to know more about Adult Protective Services they are always able to ask an Expert.

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