Adults, ages 60 and over, who reside in the community or in a community-based independent living arrangement, are protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation by the Ohio Adult Protective Services Statute.
Abuse is the infliction upon an adult by him/herself or others of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or cruel punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish.
Neglect is the failure of an adult or caregiver to provide goods or services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish or mental illness.
Exploitation is a caregiver’s unlawful or improper use of an adult’s resources for the caregiver’s personal benefit or financial gain.
The services that the Adult Protective Services (APS) specialist provides and/or arranges to remedy conditions of abuse, neglect, and exploitation are referred to as protective services and include all community resources that may address the existing needs. Provisions for court-ordered petitions for protective services are available when conditions warrant intervention. When an adult is at risk due to mental incompetence, the APS specialist can request that the probate court appoint a guardian for the adult.
APS aims to maximize independence and avoid unnecessary harm or institutionalization by preventing, eliminating, or remedying conditions that cause or contribute to the endangerment or abuse of adults.
After accepting a referral, an APS specialist will be assigned to meet with the adult in his or her home to determine the need for protective services. The APS specialist follows the least restrictive alternative necessary to remedy conditions of abuse, neglect, or exploitation when providing protective services. When supportive services are needed to stabilize or improve the adult’s living situation, the APS specialist will work with the adult and the adult’s family and make the appropriate referrals.
Adult Protective Services is located at The Summit County Department of Job and Family Services.
Anyone suspecting that an adult may need protective services should contact Adult Protective Services at 330.643.7217 with identifying information, including the adult’s name, age, address, the nature and extent of the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and the basis for the caller’s belief that the adult has been abused, neglected, or exploited. The Ohio Adult Protective Services Law (Ohio Revised Code 5101.61) provides mandatory reporting (with immunity provisions) by social workers, physicians, attorneys, nurses, peace officers, clergy, and senior-service providers. Additionally, reports are received from anyone with cause to suspect that an adult may require protective services. Anonymous reports are also accepted. Some indicators to look for include the following:
• Signs of physical or verbal abuse
• Multiple or severe bruises or burns
• Evidence of the adult being restrained, tied up, or locked in
• Broken bones or wounds
• Injuries at several stages of healing
• Expression of fear by the adult
• Self-endangering behaviour
• Suicidal acts
• Refusal of medical treatment
• An elder’s report of abuse
• Dirt, fleas, lice
• Ulcerated sores
• Medications not being taken
• Fecal/urine odor
• Untreated medical conditions
• Misuse of person, funds, property, or possessions