Thursday, July 18, 2024

Abuse Of Adults With Disabilities Intervention Act

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Fighting back against abuse of the disabled

According to the World Health Organization, adults with a disability are 1.5 times more likely to be victims of violence than non-disabled adults. If this kind of abuse isnt reported, it may become a long-term, recurring problem. Over time, this kind of abuse can destroy the individuals physical health, happiness, financial situation, and emotional stability.

No one has to put up with the abuse of disabled adults or the elderly. The law protects your loved one from being a victim of abuse. If you have any questions or need help, call our team today at or complete the Free Case Evaluation form above.

Signs Of Abuse Of The Elderly Or People With Disabilities

Abuse may cause various injuries such as scratches, cuts, bruises, burns, broken bones, or bedsores. It can also result in confinement, rape or sexual misconduct, and verbal or psychological abuse.

Neglect may cause starvation, dehydration, over- or under-medication, unsanitary living conditions, lack of personal hygiene. Neglected adults may also not have heat, running water, electricity, medical care.

Exploitation may result in loss of property, money, or income. Exploitation means misusing the resources of an elderly or disabled person for personal or monetary benefit. This includes taking Social Security or SSI checks, misusing a joint checking account, or taking property and other resources.

Sometimes the elderly or disabled become isolated or ill and do not have someone who is willing and able to help meet their basic needs.

Recognizing And Preventing Abuse Neglect And Exploitation Of Individuals With Disabilities And Older Adults

By Roxanne J. Chang, Esq.

Individuals who have disabilities or who are older are at higher risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, approximately 30 percent of individuals with disabilities who need assistance with daily care, maintaining health and safety, and accessing the community have experienced some form of mistreatment. The National Council on Aging estimates that one in 10 Americans who are 60 years or older have experienced some form of elder abuse. Unfortunately, it is suspected that actual occurrences may be even greater than what is reported, for various reasons.

The definitions of abuse and exploitation vary from state to state, but they are defined by the National Council on Aging as follows:

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Act To Combat Maltreatment Of Seniors And Other Persons Of Full Age In Vulnerable Situations

Act to combat maltreatment of seniors

In this text, “the Act” refers to the Act to combat maltreatment of seniors and other persons of full age in vulnerable situations .

On April 6, 2022, this Act was enhanced in an effort to strengthen the fight against the maltreatment of seniors and other persons of full age in vulnerable situations and to monitor the quality of health and social services.

The Act provides for the following measures to combat maltreatment of seniors and other persons of full age in vulnerable situations:

What Information Do I Need To Make A Report

Victims With Disability

When making a report to APS, please provide the following information:

  • Name of the alleged victim,
  • Location of the alleged victim, and
  • Details regarding the alleged abuse.

Although it’s helpful to report as much information as possible, dont let unknown information prevent you from making a report.

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Laws About Disability Abuse Of Adults

In the state of California, disability abuse laws say elderly people are protected from physical abuse, abandonment, neglect, financial abuse, and isolation. No one is allowed to carry out any behavior which leads to pain, physical harm, or mental suffering of seniors. It is also against the law to deprive elders or non-elderly adults with the services they need to avoid mental suffering or physical harm.

In 1967, Californias legislature passed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. This act protected people who have mental disabilities and prevents them from being confined involuntarily, physically abused, and neglected.

Meanwhile, California Penal Code 368 explicitly protects elders and adults from abuse. It covers the punishments and fines for criminal abuse as well as provisions for civil abuse cases. Any type of physical, emotional, mental, or financial abuse of disabled adults is a violation of this code.

How To Recognize Abuse Of A Disabled Person

Recognizing signs of abuse isnt always easy. It can be difficult to tell whether a bruise is from a genuine accident or an intentional injury. Loved ones must be diligent and observant when it comes to spotting signs of abuse.

Family and friends may notice sudden behavior or emotional changes in someone struggling through abuse. The individual may suddenly refuse to go to places or appear withdrawn. Physically, they may have unexplained cuts, burns, bruises, or even broken bones.

Signs of neglect include things like poor hygiene, dehydration, and malnourishment. The neglected individual may have a lack of food at home, unpaid bills, pressure sores, unexplained weight loss, or a lack of proper medical care.

It is always better to report disability abuse and be wrong than not report something that turns out to be abuse. When in doubt, ask a professional Ombudsman to investigate and figure out if some form of abuse is going on.

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What Is Adult Exploitation

Adult exploitation means a person who stands in a position of trust and confidence with a vulnerable adult knowingly, by deception or intimidation, obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, a vulnerable adultâs funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive a vulnerable adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property for the benefit of someone other than the vulnerable adult.

That a person who knows or should know that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent, obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the vulnerable adultâs funds, assets, or property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the vulnerable adult of the use, benefit, or possession of the funds, assets, or property for the benefit of someone other than the vulnerable adult.

Adult Protective Services Act

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The Adult Protective Services Act established the Adult Protective Services program. The Illinois Department on Aging is in charge of the APS program. APS focuses on adults with disabilities. APS also serves non-disabled adults 60 and over. The program consists of 45 provider agencies. These agencies were designated by the department. The agencies get reports from the public and act on them. People report possible abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. The reports are on adults in domestic living situations. This means they live in a private household. The person can live alone, with family, or a caregiver. They can also live in a community-based unlicensed facility.

The purpose of this law is to make sure authorities pay attention to reports. Anyone who suspects someone is being harmed can contact APS. This includes the victim. Harm includes abuse, negligence, and financial exploitation. More information about elder abuse and warning signs can be found on the IDOA Preventing Aging Abuse portal.

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Abandonment Neglect Of Elderly And/or Disabled Adult

In addition to Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person there are laws which address the abandonment and neglect of an Elderly or Disabled adult. N.J.S.A. 2C:24-8 provides as follows:

  • Abandonment, Neglect of Elderly Person, Disabled Adult
  • A person is guilty of a disorderly persons offense when he knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person 60 years of age or older or a disabled adult.
  • A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if he has a legal duty to care for, or has assumed continuing responsibility for the care of, a person 60 yearsof age or older or a disabled adult when the actor knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or morel welfare of the person.
  • A person having a legal duty to care for or who has assumed continuing responsibility for the care of a person 60 years of age or older or a disabled adult, who abandons the elderly person or disabled adult or unreasonably neglects to do or fails to permit to be done any act necessary for the physical or mental health of the elderly person or disabled adult, is guilty of a crime of the third degree. For purposes of this section abandon means the willful desertion or forsaking of an elderly person or disabled adult.
  • Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude or limit the prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in this code or in any other law of this state.
  • Reporting Abuse Or Neglect

    The Tennessee Department of Health is required by state law and federal regulations to maintain a registry of persons who have abused, neglected, or misappropriated personal property of a vulnerable person who is under eighteen years of age, or who, by reason of advanced age or other physical or mental condition is vulnerable to abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property and who was, at the time of such determination, in the care of a state agency, an entity which is licensed or regulated by a state agency, or an entity under the provisions of a contract between that entity and a state agency.

    Allegations of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of personal property against individuals are investigated thoroughly. Due process is afforded to all accused persons before placement is made.

    For more information or to report abuse, call toll-free 778-4504 or contact:

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    Regulation Of The Use Of Cameras Or Other Monitoring Mechanisms

    The regulation allows the use, for user monitoring purposes, of any mechanism, device or technological means, whether concealed or not, to capture images or sound, for example:

    • A monitoring camera
    • A tablet
    • A smart phone

    The Regulation respecting the terms governing the use of monitoring mechanisms by a user sheltered in a facility maintained by an institution operating a residential and long-term care centre sets out the terms of use of monitoring mechanisms by a user or their representative.

    In particular, the Regulation determines:

    • The users and their representatives obligations with respect to the installation of monitoring mechanisms
    • The terms governing the use of monitoring mechanisms that the user and their representative must comply with
    • The rules applicable to the images or sounds recorded by monitoring mechanisms
    • The obligations of health and social services institutions with respect to the use of monitoring mechanisms

    These obligations, terms or rules with respect to monitoring mechanisms apply to users, their family members and friends, institutions and to anyone who works in a facility operated by a residential and long-term care centre.

    How Can I Get A Copy Of An Aps Case Record

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    APS investigations are confidential. Only the APS client or his/her legal representative may request a copy of the APS case record. APS may request addition information from the requester or the APS client to verify the validity of the request before releasing information. APS reserves the right to deny the release of certain information collected during an investigation, if believed its release could cause harm to others involved in the investigation. The reporters identity is considered protected information, therefore, I will not be released with the record.

    Requests for APS records may be mailed or delivered to:

    Mailing Address:

    Director of Adult Protective Services

    The Louisiana Department of Health

    P.O. Box 2031, Bin 14,

    Baton Rouge LA 70821

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    What Is Considered Abuse Or Neglect

    There are many different types of abuse and neglect, but all types of abuse involve one person or group of people inflicting harm onto another person by either performing an action, or failing to perform an action. The following are just a few examples of abuse that should be reported:

    • Physical Harm .
    • Restraint .
    • Forced Medical Treatment .
    • Verbal Abuse .
    • Neglect .
    • Sexual Abuse .
    • Financial Exploitation .

    Who Can Contact Reporton

    Anyone can use ReportON if you have concerns about alleged, suspected and/or witnessed incidents of abuse and/or neglect of an adult with a developmental disability. This means you can use ReportON if you are a victim, member of the public or staff member of a service sector.

    However, it is primarily intended for people who do not already have an avenue to report these concerns or do not know where to report them.

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    Obligation To Report Certain Cases Of Maltreatment

    Under the Act, any health services and social services provider or any professional within the meaning of the Professional Code who, in the normal course of performing their duties or profession, has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is a victim of maltreatment must report it immediately if it concerns the following people:

    • Clients of residential and long-term care centres
    • Persons in vulnerable situations residing in private seniors’ residences
    • Persons of full age housed in an intermediate resource or a family-type resource
    • Persons deemed incompetent following a medical assessment
    • Incapacitated, protected persons, irrespective of their place of residence, namely:
    • A person under tutorship
    • The Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
    • The Autorité des marchés financiers .

    How Can I Report Abuse

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    If you are a victim of abuse or neglect, or if you have knowledge of an incident, you can report it to law enforcement, adult protective services, or licensing agencies. Abuse and neglect of dependent adults and elders is a crime.

    You can report any incident of abuse or neglect to the police or local law enforcement agency.

    Or, If the incident of abuse or neglect occurred in:

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    Reporting Suspected Abuse Of An Adult With A Disability

    APS has a statewide telephone number. Anyone can call the number to report suspected abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. Authorities at APS investigate these reports. They also assist the victim. They will arrange for services to prevent further harm.

    The APS Hotline is 800-1409.

    The identity of the person making the report is confidential. It cannot be disclosed except with their written consent or by court order. Anyone who makes a report in good faith is protected from penalty. Anyone who provides information about an APS review is also protected from penalty. APS also accepts anonymous reports.

    Review Of Recent Aps Data

    A review of recent APS data shows:

    • More than 60 percent of APS referrals are for persons age 60 and older.
    • Just under 40 percent of APS referrals are for persons age 18 to 59.
    • Approximately 71 percent of all APS referrals are for “self-neglect” .
    • Approximately 28.3 percent of all APS referrals are perpetrator-related risks .

    Of the perpetrator-related risks, the greatest number of reported risks are: financial exploitation and neglect by others .

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    How Do I Report Abuse

    Disability Rights Wisconsin is not a first responder agency for suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation.

    If someone is in immediate, life-threatening danger, call the police or 9-1-1 immediately.

    To report abuse of an elder contact your county Elder Abuse helpline.

    To report abuse of an adult contact Adult Protective Services.

    The Division of Quality Assurance is responsible for assuring the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Wisconsin. If you believe that a caregiver, agency, or DQA regulated facility has violated the law, you can file a complaint with DQA.

    To report child abuse or neglect contact Child Protective Services.

    For additional information on Domestic Abuse, visit the End Abuse Wisconsin website.

    For suspected sex/human trafficking: Call |Text 233733

    When suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation involves a person with a disability or mental illness, particularly when that abuse occurs in a program or facility funded by the state, we encourage you to also report this suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation to Disability Rights Wisconsins Protection and Advocacy system.

    Disability Rights Wisconsin also provides advocacy assistance to victims of crime with disabilities regardless of whether that crime has been reported.

    Mandatory Adoption Of An Anti

    Major and Unusual Incidents (MUI)

    Under the Act, all institutions in the health and social services system, whether public or private, are required to adopt and implement an anti-maltreatment policy.

    Policy objectives

    The main objectives of the policy are to:

    • Establish measures to prevent maltreatment of persons in vulnerable situations
    • Combat maltreatment
    • Support people in any steps taken to end maltreatment, whether at the hands of a person working for the institution or of any other person

    Communication of the policy

    The institution must display its policy in full view of the public and publish it on its website. This obligation also applies to private seniors residences , intermediate resources , and family-type resources .

    Furthermore, means must be implemented to make its policy known to:

    • People who work in the institution
    • Clients and residents, including those who receive home care services
    • Close family members of users and residents
    • Health professionals employed in the health and social services system
    • Social economy enterprises
    • Private resources offering health and social services

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