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A black & white closeup of an older woman with the words “physical,” “emotional abuse,” “financial exploitation,” and “neglect.”

Abuse and Neglect

Did you know that all Consumers have rights? Most consumers receiving homecare do not know that they have rights. Caregivers are undergo specific training on this subject so that they can understand that all consumers have the right to be treated with respect and dignity. Some forms of Abuse and Neglect are explained further below.


  • Infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement. Intimidation or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain, or mental anguish.
  • Willful deprivation by a caregiver of goods or services which are necessary to maintain physical or mental health
  • Sexual harassment and/or rape


  • The failure to provide for oneself or the failure of a caregiver to provide goods, care of service is essential to avoid a clear and serious threat to the physical or mental health of an adult

What are Exploitation and Abandonment?


  • an act or course of conduct by a caregiver or other person against an adult’s resources, without the informed consent of the adult or with consent obtained through misrepresentation, coercion or threats of force, that results in monetary, personal or other benefits, gain, or profit for the perpetrators or monetary or personal loss to the adult.


  • the desertion of an adult by a caregiver


Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA) and Adult Protective Services Act (APS)

Both Acts:

  • Provide for the detection, prevention, reduction, and elimination of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and abandonment
  • Require a program of protective services for adults in need of them
  • Require a uniform statewide reporting and investigative system
  • Prescribe penalties
  • Utilize least restrictive alternatives and ensure services are provided in the most integrated setting

Legislative provisions of both laws

  • Adults who lack capacity and are at imminent risk must have access to services necessary to protect their health, safety, and welfare
  • Adults have the right to make choices even when those choices present risks to themselves or their property
  • Adults have the right to refuse some or all protective services
  • Information should be provided in a safe place and understandable manner
  • Services shall be in the least restrictive environment, most integrated setting and encourage consumer choice


APS (Adult Protective Services)

In 2010, the Adult Protective Services (APS) Law (Act 70 of 2010) was enacted to protect adults between the ages of 18 and 59 with a physical or mental disability that limits one or more major life activities. The APS Law establishes a program of protective services in order to detect, prevent, reduce and eliminate abuse, neglect, exploitation, and abandonment of these adults in need.

A report can be made on behalf of the adult whether they live in their home or in a care facility such as a nursing facility, group home, hospital, etc. Reporters can remain anonymous and have legal protection from retaliation, discrimination, and civil and criminal prosecution. The statewide Protective Services Hotline is available 24 hours a day.

Common Signs of Abuse

    • Bruises or broken bones
    • Weight loss
    • Memory loss
    • Personality changes
    • Social isolation
    • Changes in banking habits
    • Giving away assets such as money, property, etc.