Adult Protective Services

Aging is natural, abuse is not

Overview

Adult Protective Services (APS) works to help keep Wayne County residents, who are over the age of 60, safe.

When calls are received by APS, caseworkers evaluate any risk to the safety and well-being of alleged victims. If they find that there is a risk, caseworkers work with families, social service agencies and other community resources to meet the person’s needs and to improve the situation.

During normal business hours please call 330-287-5865 to report any elder abuse, neglect (by self or others) and exploitation of Wayne County residents age 60 and older. All calls are confidential. On nights, weekends and Holidays please call 911.

 

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse takes many forms. It includes abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation.

Physical abuse is any physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain or impairment. Physical abuse may include striking (with or without an object), beating, pushing, shoving, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching and burning. In addition, inappropriate use of drugs and physical restraints, force-feeding, and physical punishment of any kind also are examples of physical abuse.

Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact of any kind, including unwanted touching and all types of sexual assault or battery, such as rape, sodomy, coerced nudity and sexually explicit photographing.

Emotional or psychological abuse is the infliction of anguish, pain or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts. It includes verbal assaults, insults, threats, intimidation, humiliation and harassment. In addition, other examples include: treating an older person like an infant; isolating an elderly person from his/her family, friends, or regular activities; forced social isolation and giving an older person the “silent treatment.”

Neglect is the refusal or failure to fulfill any part of a person’s obligations or duties to an elder, including food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, personal safety and other essentials included in an implied or agreed upon responsibility to an elder. Neglect may also include failure of a person who has fiduciary responsibilities for an elder (e.g., pay for necessary home care services).

Self-neglect is characterized as the behavior of an elderly person that threatens his/her own health or safety. Self-neglect generally manifests itself in an older person as a refusal or failure to provide himself/herself with adequate food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medication (when indicated) and safety precautions because of a physical or mental handicap. Self-neglect excludes a situation in which a mentally competent older person, who understands the consequences of his/her decisions, makes a conscious and voluntary decision to engage in acts that threaten his/her health or safety as a matter of personal choice.

Abandonment is the desertion by an individual who has assumed responsibility for providing care or has physical custody of an elderly person.

Financial or material exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets, such as cashing an elderly person’s checks without authorization or permission; forging a signature; misusing or stealing money or possessions; coercing or deceiving an older person into signing any document (e.g., contracts or will); and the improper use of conservatorship, guardianship or power of attorney.

APS Resources

Abuse


PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE:

  • Deliberate conduct that causes mental anguish.
  • Psychological abuse dehumanizes or belittles the elder.
  • Often, psychological abuse takes the form of name calling, threats of physical harm or threats of nursing home placement.
PHYSICAL ABUSE:
  • Non-accidental conduct that causes bodily harm, like incorrect positioning, force feeding, restraining or giving medication without their knowledge.
  • Physical abuse includes hitting, scratching, cuts, bruises, broken bones, physical restraint.
  • Sexual abuse.




Neglect / Self-Neglect


  • Daily living needs are not met by the caretaker or the older adult.
  • Neglect can be intentional or unintentional.
  • A caregiver unintentionally neglects, forgets or is physically unable to meet the needs of the elder.
  • A caregiver deliberately withholds necessities such as food, medical treatment or personal care.
  • Self-neglect occurs when older adults are unwilling or unable to care for themselves due to mental confusion or physical inability.




Explotation


  • Theft or misuse of money, assets or other valuables.
  • Assets include cash, Social Security and retirement funds, real estate, jewelry, furniture or any other items of value.
  • Exploitation can be perpetrated by family members, caregivers, housekeepers, sales persons, telephone scams, etc.




How to Report Abuse


Many elderly adults are abused in their own homes or in relatives’ homes. If you suspect that an elderly person is at risk from a neglectful or overwhelmed caregiver, or being preyed upon financially, it’s important to speak up. Learn to recognize the warning signs of elder abuse, what the risk factors are, and what you can do to prevent and report the problem. IF YOU SUSPECT ELDER ABUSE OR NEGLECT, CALL OUR CONFIDENTIAL HELP LINE AT 330-287-5865 DURING NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS OR 911 ON NIGHTS, WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS




Voter Registration


Did you know that Wayne county Job and Family services is a Designated agency for the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)? That means we have all the information you need if you decide you want to register to vote or need to update any information with the voter’s bureau. Click here to find out more information.





Wayne County Department of Job and Family Services

Location

356 W North St

P.O. Box 76

Wooster, OH 44691

Hours

Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Phone: (330) 287-5800

Toll Free: 1-877-612-5800

Fax: (330) 287-5899