Prevent Aging Abuse

We #Engage2Change abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults and adults with disabilities in Illinois. We believe in empowering you to ENGAGE for yourself and your community. We all deserve to be safe, secure and flourish at every stage of life. We all want justice, equity and the ability to participate, contribute and thrive in our communities. Decide how you will #Engage2Change for yourself or your fellow community and use #Engage2Change on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram to post your commitment to do what is right to end abuse and neglect.

Take a minute to view the #Engage2Change Public Service Announcement.

#Engage2Change

Eligible Adults under age 60

#Engage2Change - Disabilities

Eligible Adults age 60 and over

Who will you #Engage2Change for?

Woman with Down Syndrome

Adult with Disabilities

“I suspected abuse of a woman who has intellectual disabilities and called to report. I saw a relative hit her and yell at her. After thoroughly and sensitively investigating what was going on, the worker found out she had been forced to have sex with the relative. APS helped get an emergency Order of Protection, counseling, and day services for her. APS even helped to get food for her family, coordinated with a court advocate and worked with the State’s Attorney to pursue charges against the man who abused her. She’s safe now.”

Social Worker #Engage2Change for my client – Law Enforcement #Engage2Change for Other

Homeless Man

Myself

“I told APS that my granddaughter stole almost everything I had. My money in the bank was almost gone when I found out. I couldn’t pay rent and I needed medication for diabetes and couldn’t get it. I needed food and couldn’t get it. My granddaughter lived with me and was supposed to help me. I never thought she would do this, but she did. I was hungry, sad, desperate and sick. I needed to see a doctor. APS helped me open new bank accounts and got my son to be a Power of Attorney over my healthcare and finances. They got home-delivered meals for me, arranged to get me to and from the doctor, and signed me up for the Community Care Program. Now I have a helper to get things done. I got an emergency response button too. I have my life back and couldn’t have stayed at home without their help.”

#Engage2Change for myself, #Engage2Change for my father

Elderly Woman With Cat

Older Adult

“I reported for an older female who looked disoriented and was living in deplorable conditions. She wasn’t getting her medications. She wasn’t bathing. She wasn’t eating or leaving her house. Her house was full of bugs and debris and she couldn’t move around freely. I’ve never seen anything like it. No one should have to live that way. APS helped with a program called Money Management to help get her finances in order, set her up with the Community Care Program for help with meals, bathing, transportation and cleaning, and transportation services to an Adult Day Center and doctor’s appointments. She had no one else.”

#Engage2Change for my neighbor, #Engage2Change for Other, #Engage2Change for myself by accepting help

Stories referred to here are based on real cases received, investigated and resolved by APS. Some details have been changed to maintain confidentiality. Individuals were able to stay in their homes due to APS. Their risk of harm was reduced and their quality of life improved. Please #Engage2Change and make a report if you suspect anyone is being abused, neglected or exploited.

TYPES OF ABUSE

 

Physical Abuse

Causing physical pain or injury to an eligible adult.

 

Sexual Abuse

Touching, fondling, sexual threats, sexually inappropriate remarks, or any other sexual activity with an eligible adult when he or she is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced to engage in sexual behavior.

 

Emotional Abuse

Verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment, or intimidation to compel the eligible adult to engage in conduct from which s/he has the right to abstain or to refrain from conduct in which the eligible adult has the right to engage.

 

Confinement

Restraining or isolating an eligible adult for other than medical reasons.

 

Passive Neglect

Another individual’s failure to provide an eligible adult with the necessities of life including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelters, or medical care, because of failure to understand the eligible adult’s needs, lack of awareness of services to help meet needs, or lack of capacity to care for the eligible adult.

 

Willful Deprivation

Willfully denying assistance to an eligible adult who requires medication, medical care, shelter, food, therapeutic device, or other physical assistance, thereby exposing that person to the risk of harm.

 

Financial Exploitation

The misuse of or withholding of an eligible adult’s resources to the disadvantage of the eligible adult and/or the profit or advantage of another person.

 

Self Neglect

A condition that is the result of an eligible adult’s inability, due to physical or mental impairments, or both, or diminished capacity, to perform essential care tasks that substantially threaten his or her own health, including: providing essential food, clothing, shelter, and health care; and obtaining goods and services necessary to maintain physical health, mental health, emotional well-being, and general safety.

SIGNS OF ABUSE

Signs of Physical Abuse

  • Grabbed/hit/pushed/pinched
  • Giving more medication than prescribed
  • Injuries that happen over and over
  • Bruises, cuts, burns
  • Going to the ER or hospital often

Signs of Sexual Abuse

  • Have a sexually transmitted disease but do not know how
  • Unwanted sexually touching or acts person does not agree to
  • Forced to watch sexual activity
  • Unwanted sexual language from another person
  • Sexually attacked or assaulted

Signs of Emotional Abuse

  • Insults/humiliates/blames the person
  • Calls person names and/or cusses at person
  • Harassing phone calls/texts/emails/social media posts
  • Talks of person dying as a good thing or that the person is a burden
  • Threatens to leave person or put person in nursing home or facility

Signs of Confinement

  • Markings on skin where restraints were used (tied down)
  • Person cannot get to a phone because other moved it out of reach or will not give it to the person
  • Locked in room/house and not allowed to leave the house
  • No visitors are allowed, can’t speak to family/friends on the phone
  • Giving the individual more medication than needed to make person tired or weak

Signs of Passive Neglect

  • Person has bed sores or skin rashes not treated
  • No food in house or spoiled food, person is underweight
  • Not getting or taking medications correctly
  • Dirty appearance/not dressed/smells/ home has no utilities, dirty, in disrepair
  • Left alone when needs help

Signs of Willful Deprivation

  • Other refuses to help the person
  • Other does not follow the person’s doctor orders on purpose
  • Other will not hire help for the person in the home or other services
  • Other won’t buy food clothes, or medications for the person
  • Other puts walker or wheelchair out of reach of the person

Signs of Financial Exploitation

  • Zero or low bank account balance
  • Not paying bills when the person has income
  • Money, medication, property stolen by someone the person knows
  • Large bank withdrawals and no receipts
  • Other using the person’s credit card/LINK card for themselves
  • Other lives with person but pay no rent and gives no money towards bills
  • Other won’t give person their own money, controls the money

Signs of Self-Neglect

  • Underweight/No food/Can’t prepare meals or buy food
  • Lack of clothing/ Not dressed for the weather/Smells related to urine or feces
  • Hoarding animals or things
  • Not taking medications/ Not seeking medical care for physical or mental health
  • Home is dirty, dangerous, bug/rodent infestations/ no utilities or working appliances

Abuse in Illinois

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Source: IDoA APS FY19 Annual Report

How to Report and #Engage2Change for Yourself and Others

Who am I reporting to and how?

The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) manages the state-wide Adult Protective Service Program which serves adults 60 years of age and older and adults aged 18-59 with disabilities. Adult Protective Services are provided through local agencies trained and certified by the IDoA. These agencies conduct the investigations and help set up services.

Need help outside of Illinois?

To make a report in another state follow the link for nationwide Adult Protective Services contact information: https://www.napsa-now.org/get-help/help-in-your-area/

Report as a Professional Mandated Reporter for your client or other?

Who are Adult Protective Service mandated reporters?
Illinois has a law which requires certain professionals to make reports of suspected abuse of adults age 60 or older or people with disabilities age 18-59 who are unable, due to dysfunction, to report for themselves. This law applies to persons delivering professional services to adults age 60 or older or people with disabilities age 18-59 in the following fields:

  • Social Services
  • Adult Care
  • Law Enforcement
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • State Service to Seniors
  • Social Workers
See the Adult Protective Service Act (320 ILCS 20) for further details: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1452&ChapterID=31

View the Mandated Reporter Training.

By phone call : 1-866-800-1409 or 1-888-206-1327 (TTY)
Lines are open 24 hours, seven days a week

What if I am not sure if I should make a report?

Report it, even if you are not sure. The law provides that people who think abuse is happening or cooperate with an investigation – are immune from criminal or civil liability or professional disciplinary action. The law further provides that the identity of the reporter is not shared except with the written permission of the reporter or by court order.

Anonymous reports are accepted.

Report for yourself or someone else?

  1. Your name as the reporter is confidential. You can make a report anonymous.
  2. Call 1-866-800-1409 or 1-888-206-1327 (TTY) Lines are open 24 hours, seven days a week.
  3. Be prepared to report a name and address, what happened, who the suspected abuser might be, if one is involved.

What Happens When A Report is Made?

When a report is received, a trained caseworker responds within a specified time period depending on the severity of the case.

  1. Your Rights
  2. No decisions are made about the adult without the adult’s agreement and involvement. Every effort is made to keep the person in his or her home. Those helped by APS have the right to:
    • Choose where and how they will live
    • Choose whether to accept social services or other community assistance
    • Make decisions different from those that we might make, including “bad” decisions, as long as those decisions don’t hurt themselves or others
    When an adult with a disability or older adult is incapable of protecting himself or herself, under the law that person has the right to have protective measures taken on his or her behalf.
  3. What help is there?
  4. The caseworker will talk to the person about the risks, his or her needs and what services are available in the community to lower the risk and improve quality of life. Services for you or the other person may include caregiver support, housing, training, in-home assistance, legal, counseling, medical or mental health, rehabilitation, transportation, meals, socialization, substance abuse help, financial planning, public assistance benefits and more.

Resources

For more information about the Illinois Adult Protective Service Program

More Information Social Media Toolkit

Download the #Engage2Change brochure

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