Adult Protective Services

arrow What is Adult Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation?
arrow Who Are The Abusers?
arrow Why Does It Happen?
arrow What Constitutes Abuse?
arrow What Can You Do?
arrow What Do I Report?
arrow Indiana's Adult Protective Services (APS) Law

What is Adult Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation?

Mistreatment of a vulnerable adult, especially the elderly or disabled, includes:

  • Physical violence
  • Threats against the person
  • Failure to provide adequate care, food, or medicine
  • Financial exploitation
  • Violation of the person's privacy or basic rights

Who Are The Abusers?

Abusers are usually family members or someone who is responsible for caring for the victim.

Why Does It Happen?

Experts believe that many factors may be involved:

  • Resentment
  • Our attitude toward violence
  • Lack of love and friendship
  • Retaliation
  • Social problems
  • Lack of services
  • Money problems
  • Life crisis

What Constitutes Abuse?

Situations constituting abuse, neglect, or exploitation are:

Physical Abuse - Vulnerable adults are kicked, punched, slapped, beaten or injured on purpose.

Neglect - Failure to provide medicine, food, or personal care, such as help to the bathroom.

Financial Exploitation - Abusers may steal or mismanage money, property, savings, or credit cards, or a victim may be forced to sign a will or turn over assets.

Psychological Abuse - Psychological abuse includes intentionally isolating or denying companionship. Abusers may threaten or verbally attack the victim.

Violation of Rights - Vulnerable adults may be unfairly confined or forced out of the home. Their behavior may be strictly controlled.

Other Types of Abuse -

  • Vulnerable adults may be forced to live in unsanitary conditions or in poorly heated or hot rooms.
  • Overmedicating or withholding aids (eyeglasses, dentures, etc.)

What Can You Do?

For older people and adults in Fayette, Franklin, Rush, Union, and Wayne counties, the state of Indiana has designated the Adult Protective Services Office in the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office as the lead agency.

The APS Office is staffed by an APS Investigator who will follow up on reports and take appropriate action to help the abused, neglected, or exploited individual.

Adult Protective Services can help put a stop to abuse, neglect, and exploitation by your reporting to the local APS Investigator at 765-973-9256.

What Do I Report?

Provide the following information to the investigator:

  • Endangered adult's name, address, and phone number.
  • Endangered adult's age and physical or mental problems, if known.
  • Nature and extent of abuse, neglect, battery, or exploitation, if known.
  • Any additional information that might be helpful.


Indiana's Adult Protective Services (APS) Law

Since 1985 Indiana has had a statewide system to address the serious problem of adult abuse. The law enacted (IC 12-10-3) requires individuals to report any knowledge of adults being abused (battery), neglected, or exploited. Reports should be made to the local APS unit investigator, APS statewide hotline (1-800-992-6978), or to a local law enforcement agency.

The law defines endangered adults as those individuals 18 years of age or older who are incapable of managing their property or caring for themselves because of illness, disability, or other incapacity and are harmed or threatened with harm as a result of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the person's personal services, property, or both.

The abuse of vulnerable, older adults is a serious problem. If you suspect an adult you know is being abused, contact the Adult Protective Services immediately.