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News Details LMH News

July News - Elder Abuse and the Adult Protective Services Program


NEWS RELEASE  -  July 27, 2016  -  Contact:  Betty Weemes,  787.5117

Each year hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected, and exploited. Many victims are people who are older, frail, and vulnerable and cannot help themselves and depend on others to meet their most basic needs. Abusers of older adults are both women and men, and may be family members, friends, or “trusted others.”

On June 16, 2016, Marylee McGlothlin, Field Supervisor for Adult Protective Services, spoke at the Passport 55 Health Lecture Series as part of World Elder Abuse Awareness Month.  Ms. McGlothlin presented an overview of the Adult Protective Services program in Tennessee and gave handouts with resource information regarding the program and possible resources in the area. 


Photo:  Marylee McGlothlin, Field Supervisor for Adult Protective Services 

Adult Protective Services is a program that investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the vulnerable adults in Tennessee and, if the adult chooses and resources are available, can assist the adult in accessing the support they are eligible to receive.  Adult Protective Services is a voluntary program and can only intervene with the adult’s cooperation, except in situations where the adult can no longer make decisions and has no one else to help. 

In general, McClothlin said that elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. Legislatures in all 50 states have passed some form of elder abuse prevention laws. Laws and definitions of terms vary considerably from one state to another.

One purpose of the program was to alert the public that elder abuse is a crime which, by law, must be reported.  The program also promoted a better understanding of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.

McGlothlin told the group that anyone can make a report to the Adult Protective Services hotline if they believe a person is experiencing abuse, neglect and/or exploitation at 1-888-277-8366.  Internet reports are now being taken as well at https://reportadultabuse.dhs.tn.gov.
 
Passport 55 is open to the public as a free community service.  It is presented each month at Roby Adult Center at 203 North College Street, by Laughlin Memorial Hospital in partnership with the adult center.

For additional information, contact Laughlin Health Care Foundation at 787-5117.