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Adult Protective Services (APS)

Who They Are and What They Do…

Adult Protective Services (APS) is an agency or department that provides social services to abused, neglected, or exploited older and/or disabled adults. APS is typically administered by local or state health, aging, or regulatory departments and includes a multidisciplinary approach to helping victims of elder abuse. Services range from investigation of mistreatment to legal intervention in the form of court orders or surrogate decision makers such as a legal guardian. Many states provide adult protective services to older adults only, such as the case in Ohio where the APS law applies to those 60 and older. Other states provide adult protective services to anyone over the age of 18. APS is intended to assist vulnerable adults such as those with disabilities due to aging, health related issues, or dementia. Forms of abuse include physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. Exploitation can be either financial or material in nature. Neglect can be perpetrated by any caregiver who has accepted the responsibility of assisting an older or disabled adult. Additionally, many states include self-neglect in their definition of those needing adult protective services. Self-neglect involves an individual’s inability to care for themselves due to physical or cognitive deficits. *

Basics to Know

  • Often work with Guardianships/Conservatorship
  • Good, free resource for seniors
  • Patient and facility advocates
  • Liaison between clients and professionals
  • Funded by the State