As older adults become more physically frail, they are often less able to protect themselves if they are being threatened, harmed or preyed upon financially. Reports of elder abuse are increasing in Ohio and across the U.S. Elder abuse refers to any abuse, neglect or exploitation of an adult age 60 or older. It is important for all of us to be aware of the signs of elder abuse. It is vital that if you suspect it, you report it to your county Adult Protective Services agency. Reports to Adult Protective Services agencies can be made anonymously
Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies investigate reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of older adults who live in the community. Under Ohio law an adult must be 60 years of age or older to receive adult protective services and must be considered a “vulnerable adult”. A “vulnerable adult” is an individual who has some form of physical or mental impairment that prevents them from being completely independent. APS provides casework including service linkage, advice and intervention. APS works to maximize the older adult’s independence and choice to the extent possible based on the person’s capacity.
Elder abuse may involve any of the following:
Physical abuse includes hitting, pushing, burning, cutting, sexual assault, or unreasonable restraint of an older adult.
Neglect consists of a failure to provide necessary care to a vulnerable older adult. Examples include failure to assist the person with personal hygiene, or failure to provide adequate nutrition. Failure to maintain safe and sanitary living conditions for the person is also a form of neglect.
Self-neglect refers to an older adult’s failure to meet his or her basic needs for health and safety.
Emotional abuse consists of intimidating, threatening, isolating, or humiliating an older adult.
Exploitation is the unauthorized use of an older adult’s funds or property.
Signs of elder abuse:
- A change in personality or behavior of an older adult
- Cuts, bruises, burns, or rope marks on wrists, broken eyeglasses
- Refusal to allow the older adult to have private conversations
- Refusal to allow access to the older adult
- Unusual weight loss, dehydration, bed sores
- Humiliating or threatening behavior toward an older adult
- Poor hygiene, unsanitary living conditions, unsafe living conditions
- Missing items or cash from the older adult’s household
- Unusual bank withdrawals
- Change in powers of attorney, titles, and policies
- Unpaid bills
Central Ohio Adult Protective Services:
140 N. Sandusky St., Delaware OH 43015
239 W. Main St., Lancaster OH 43130
133 S. Main St., Washington Court House OH 43160
280 E. Broad St. Room 300, Columbus OH
74 S. Second, Newark OH 43058
200 Midway St., London OH 43140
110 Island Rd., Circleville OH 43113
940 London Ave. Ste 1800
Marysville OH 43040
937-644-1010 or 1-800-248-2347
Ohio Attorney General Office, General Mike DeWine
Local: 614-466-4986 Toll-free: 800-282-0515
Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m
Answers questions and investigates consumer complaints. Takes reports of fraud and scams. Accepts reports online and by phone. Information on website to assist victims of identity theft.
Disability Rights Ohio
Provides legal advocacy and rights protection to people who have disabilities. Addresses issues of abuse, neglect, housing, employment, voting rights and more. Online resource directory on disability related topics.
Voice: 614-466-7264, 1-800-282-9181(toll-free in Ohio only)
TTY: 614-728-2553 or 1-800-858-3542 (toll-free in Ohio only)
Disability Rights Ohio
50 W. Broad Street, Suite 1400
Columbus, OH 43215-5923
Legal Hotline for Older Ohioans
Pro Seniors Inc.
Provides free legal information to Ohio residents age 60 and older. Will attempt to match callers with affordable legal services if needed. Website has legal forms accepted in Ohio including; Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, and last Will and Testament template. Fact sheets on a wide-range of legal topics also available on the website.
Long-Term Care Advocacy and Regulation
State of Ohio Long-term Care Ombudsman
Advocates for people receiving home care, assisted living and nursing home care. Paid and volunteer staff work to resolve complaints about services, help people select a provider and offer information about benefits and consumer rights.
Ombudsmen do not regulate nursing homes and home health agencies, but do work with providers, residents, their families and other representatives to resolve problems and concerns.
State Office: 1-800-282-1206
Central Ohio Regional Long-term Care Ombudsman, Easter Seals of Central and Southeast Ohio
Serving: Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Licking, Madison, Pickaway and Union Counties Local: 614-345-9198
Confidential fax: 614-443-1848
Ohio Department of Health
Division of Quality Assurance, Complaint Unit
Investigates complaints involving home care agencies, hospitals, hospice agencies, nursing facilities, residential care facilities and other health-related services under federal and state jurisdiction. Complaints may be submitted by mail, phone, fax, or email.
Ohio Department of Health
246 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
1-800-342-0553br> 1-800-669-3534 Home Health Hotline
Live Call Coverage: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fax: (614) 564-2422