Abuse 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.

Abuse:
Infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement. Intimidation or punishment with resulting physician 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

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

What is Exploitation and Abandonment?

Exploitation:
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 benefit, gain or profit for the perpetrators or monetary or personal loss to the adult.

Abandonment
the desertion of an adult by a caregiver

HOW CLIENTS ARE PROTECTED

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

REPORTING ABUSE AND NEGLECT

APS (Adult Protective Services)

In 2010, Act 70 was enacted to provide protective services to adults between the ages of 18 – 59. Prior to 2010, there was no legal authority to investigate cases of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of persons with disabilities between the ages of 18 – 59. DPW is responsible to implement the program and APS is similar to OAPSA.

Who can investigate allegations and provide services?
301 – DPW shall work with Aging
301 – DPW may perform any duty granted to an agency until an agency is selected and operational
301 – Agencies shall be selected via a competitive bidding process
A vendor will be procured to operate the APS program no sooner than July of 2014
Once a vendor(s) is selected and in place, there will be one number to call for APS reports
During the transition phase, OLTL, ODP and OMHSAS will investigate their active consumers until at least July of 2014
Investigations for non-participants will be handled by participating AAAs and subcontractors during the transition phase

OUR DUTY

Mandated reporters (APS)

Who is covered under the law?
Adults with disabilities who are alleged victims of abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment. Adult – “A resident of this Commonwealth between 18 and 59 years of age who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” An employee or administrator of a facility who has reason to suspect that a recipient is a victim of abuse or neglect shall make an oral report to the local adult protective services agency. If an employee is alleged to have committed abuse, the facility shall immediately suspend the employee or where appropriate, utilize a plan of supervision if such plan is approved by the APS agency and applicable state licensing agency.