APS or Adult Protective Services is a state social services program that serves older adults who need assistance with everyday living and adults with disabilities. APS workers investigate cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation statewide. APS workers assess a senior’s unique needs then develop a service plan to maintain his or her safety, health, and independence.
APS does not work alone. Instead, the organization allies with professionals such as physicians, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement officers.
When a private citizen or mandatory reporter has concerns about a senior’s welfare, that person reaches out to their local APS office to report the situation. The details are screened by a trained professional to evaluate if it meets the statutory requirements for abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
If so, an APS worker will conduct a face-to-face meeting with the senior needing assistance and assess that adult’s safety and need for advocacy. Then the APS worker will determine if any services would benefit the senior. It is the senior’s right to accept or decline aid.
When matching seniors with potential solutions, APS works to find assistance within the least restrictive setting, in the senior’s own home when possible. APS also strives to help maintain their highest level of self-sufficiency.
When calling APS, it is helpful for a caller to provide as much factual information as possible. This information may include any of the following:
The APS worker will gather any other details that may benefit the senior needing assistance and begin a report. If the caller only wants help and resources, the APS worker will provide the caller with referrals to assistance and services.
The APS investigation is an information-gathering process where parties are contacted who may know about any alleged abuse, including:
After all readily available contacts are made, APS staff evaluates and decides if the senior needs protective services. In an emergency, the staff contacts the police, paramedics, or other emergency personnel immediately.
Unconfirmed cases are closed or referred to more appropriate community resources. Confirmed cases are reported to the proper authorities for action.
If you suspect a senior is suffering from abuse in Arizona, reach out to APS at the following:
Area Agency on Aging – 24-hour Senior HELPLINE:
(602) 264-HELP [(602) 264-4357]
Or call your local police department.
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