Actions that APS may take:
APS operates under the authority of the Wisconsin Statutes to protect persons age 60 or older and adults 18 and older with disabilities. They are authorized to protect adults from abuse while using the least restrictive interventions and preserving individual rights to the greatest extent possible.
- Identification of individuals in need of services
- Counseling and referral for services
- Coordination of services for individuals
- Tracking and follow-up
- Social services
- Case management
- Legal counseling or referral
- Guardianship referral
- Diagnostic evaluation
- Protective Placements
What is Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse
There are 6 different types of abuse:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial Exploitation
- Neglect from Others
Signs of Abuse
Physical Abuse: Bruises, black eyes, burns, lacerations, broken/fracture bones, wounds, or other unexplained and repeated injuries.
Emotional Abuse: Changes in demeanor. Overtly anxious, trembling, agitated, fearful, or scared behaviors. Pointing blame at themselves and worry that any conversations will “get back to” the other party.
Sexual Abuse: Unexplained injuries and bleeding in genital areas, sexually transmitted diseases.
Financial Exploitation: Sudden changes in accounts, funds/valuable possessions disappearing, bills/cares unable to be paid, and spendthrift activities.
Neglect from Others: Lack of physical or environmental cleanliness, bedsores, soiled clothing/bedding, weight loss, frailty, weakness, dehydration, untreated health problems, lack of safe living environment, lack of needed medical equipment, medications denied or not administered properly, or obvious absence of caregivers.
**Note: This does not include a decision that is made to not seek medical care for an individual, if that decision is consistent with the individual’s previously executed declaration or do-not-resuscitate order.**
Self-Neglect: Look for signs included above in Neglect by Others. Self-neglect differs from neglect because it does not involve an abuser. Instead, it occurs when an individual fails to provide or obtain for themselves adequate cares or take adequate safety precautions, and the above results in a significant danger to the individual’s physical and/or mental health.
How to Report Suspected Abuse
- Reach out to the ADRC
What Happens When a Report is Made
- We may ask for your name and contact information so APS can reach out for information, but your identity is kept confidential by law!
- We will ask several questions; Please answer to the best of your ability, but if you do not know everything, that is okay.
- APS will begin their investigation within 24 business hours. Ways that APS may investigate can include:
- Interviews with the individual, family members, caregivers, surrogate decision-makers, law enforcement, or other professionals
- Visits to the residence/facility
- Review of medical and financial records.
- Assessments of level of risk, decision-making capacity, potential service needs, funding sources, and support
- Assessments of interventions, voluntary or involuntary, and/or whether emergency action is warranted
Elder Abuse In Green County
- Green County had 223 total cases of reported elder abuse or neglect in 2020. That is one case reported every 1.6 days, or just over 3% of persons 65+ in Green County, who experienced some form of abuse or neglect in 2020 alone.
- The financial losses from exploitation reported to APS in 2020 totaled over 168 thousand dollars.
- The actual number of persons experiencing abuse or neglect, and the financial loss, is likely much higher but go unreported for various reasons.
Elder Abuse Prevention and Awareness in Green County
- Green County formed the Elder Abuse Prevention (EAP) Interdisciplinary Team (I-Team) to raise awareness and educate the community about elder abuse.
- The Green County EAP I-Team is made up of community members, local banks, law enforcement, agency providers, and other key professionals.
- Goals of I-Team include:
- Increased awareness of identified victims in the community
- Better coordinated responses between agencies working with victims of abuse
- Identify service gaps
- Increase services to meet the needs of elders in the community
- Decrease overall elder abuse with prevention strategies and interventions
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEEAD)
- Occurs annually on June 15th.
- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEEAD) activities in Green County include:
- Wearing PURPLE on June 15th
- Coloring page contest with the local middle schools
- T-shirt design contest with the local high schools
- Banners and pinwheel display outside of the Behring Senior Center
- Interview with 93.7FM radio station
- Articles and press releases to display in the ADRC newsletter and Monroe Times
- Share information on WEEAD/Elder Abuse via the ADRC Facebook page
- Booth at the Monroe Farmer’s Market on the Saturday before WEEAD