Tuscarawas County Adult Protective Services urges everyone to wear purple on June 15, Elder Abuse Awareness Day, to acknowledge the existence of elder abuse and neglect in our community.
Adult Protective Services investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation of people age 60 and older. We average about 12 new cases of possible elder abuse or neglect each month. Many people are unaware of these allegations taking place within our county but it is an issue and it keeps growing with the increasing elder population.
Tuscarawas County Adult Protective Services currently has two caseworkers for the county to investigate elder abuse allegations. The largest number of cases that we typically investigate are cases of self-neglect. Self-neglect takes place when a person is unable to take care of themselves due to a physical, mental health, or related cause such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Common signs of self-neglect are having an unkempt appearance, weight loss, deteriorating home or yard conditions, increasing forgetfulness, inability to manage money, etc. If a neighbor or friend is demonstrating some of these signs, Tuscarawas County Adult Protective Services urges people to contact us at 330-339-7791 (option 5).
Financial exploitation is also a growing problem especially with the opiate epidemic that is plaguing our state. Repeated trips to the bank, withdrawals for large sums of money, or an elder repeatedly being accompanied by someone when they withdraw money from the bank could be signs of financial exploitation and should be reported to our agency.
Adult Protective Services works in conjunction with a variety of agencies within the community to help those suffering from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by offering services to help rectify the situation. It should be noted, however, that an adult is able to refuse those services if they wish unless they are determined to be unable to make competent decisions for themselves.
Anyone with questions about Adult Protective Services or with concerns about someone age 60 or older being a victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation should contact our agency at 330-339-7791 (option 5).
As part of an exclusive Newsymom.com series, in 2018 Tuscarawas County Job & Family Services will provide a monthly article that targets important issues affecting the local community.