When a call is received...
A trained elder abuse case worker will respond within a specified time period depending on the severity of the case: within 24 hours for the most dangerous situations, within 72 hours for less serious ones and up to seven days for all others.
The case worker will contact the victim and help determine what services are most appropriate to stop the abuse. Those services may include:
- inhome or other health care;
- homemaker services;
- nutrition services;
- adult day services;
- respite care for the caregiver;
- housing assistance;
- financial or legal assistance and protections, such as representative payee, direct deposit, trusts, order of protection, civil suit or criminal charges;
- counseling referral for the victim and the abuser;
- when needed, guardianship proceedings or nursing home placement;
- emergency responses for housing, food, physical and mental health services.
The older person has the right to accept or decline services.
As an adult, a competent older person may refuse an assessment and may refuse all services and interventions. This is called the client’s right to selfdetermination, upon which the Elder Abuse and Neglect program is based. No decisions are made about a competent adult without that adult’s involvement and consent. Every effort is made to keep the person in his or her home.
Where a client has dementia or another form of cognitive impairment, the Elder Abuse Program works to assess the situation and to provide services as needed. In some cases, the Elder Abuse Provider Agency petitions the court for guardianship in order to insure that the client’s needs are met.
Guardianship and nursing home placement are always the last resort.
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