Mind Your Body TV Episode 25 with Stacey Lindberg.
Mind Your Body TV continues its series for baby boomers on elder abuse with a reminder that you do have help. If you’re supervising care of a parent or other relative, either close by or from afar, and you suspect something is awry, go with your intuition. You can stop elder abuse with local help.
In this episode, we present the expertise of Stacey Lindberg, program manager of Orange County (CA) Adult Protective Services—it’s part of the county’s Social Services Agency.
No matter where you live in the United States, resources exist at either the state or county level: Adult Protective Services (APS) offices insure the safety and well-being of elders and adults with disabilities who are in danger of being mistreated or neglected, are unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm, and have no one to assist them.
Don’t get bogged down with government terminology here. You may have to “dig a little” to find exactly what you need.
You can stop elder abuse
Most services from Adult Protective Services (APS) are available regardless of income. According to the U. S. Administration on Aging, National Center on Elder Abuse, this is what APS usually does:
- Receive and investigate reports of elder/vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation
- Assess victim’s risk and capacity to understand his/her risk and ability to give informed consent
- Develop case plan
- Arrange for emergency shelter, medical care, legal assistance, and supportive services
- Monitor services
This link to the center’s state directory can lead you to local help. Know that most APS programs serve both older and younger vulnerable adults. In some states, APS is responsible only for cases involving older adults.
Adults have rights
These can help you guide your loved one’s care:
- Adults have the right to be safe.
- Adults retain all their civil and constitutional rights unless some of these rights have been restricted by court action.
- Adults have the right to make decisions that do not conform with societal norms as long as these decisions do not harm others.
- Adults are presumed to have decision-making capacity unless a court adjudicates otherwise.
- Adults have the right to accept or refuse services.
The “states” of APS
Here in my home state of California, every county has an APS office that investigates reports of abuse of elders and dependent adults who live in private homes and hotels or hospitals and health clinics when the abuser is not a staff member. Reports of abuse that occur in a nursing home, a board and care home, a residential facility for the elderly, or at a long-term care facility are the responsibility of the state Ombudsman’s office.
You really can help an elder who can’t help him or herself—even more important when it’s a relative or dear friend.
(Production note: First, my apologies for the audio on this episode—this won’t happen again on Mind Your Body TV. Call it a “growing pain.”)