Protecting the elderly

State Sen. Jean Leising

A major issue facing our aging population today is mistreatment. Nationwide, approximately one in 10 Americans age 60 and over have suffered some form of elder abuse, and only one out of every 14 cases of abuse is reported, according to the National Council on Aging.

Perpetrators can be children, spouses and other family members as well as staff at nursing homes or assisted living facilities, among others.

To help address this issue in our state, Indiana established an Adult Protective Services (APS) Program, which investigates, reports and provides intervention and protection to vulnerable adults who are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

APS investigated more than 11,000 cases relating to self-neglect, neglect, exploitation and battery in 2017 and more than 5,000 so far in 2018.

There are 17 APS units set up around the state, and each unit is based in a “hub” prosecutor’s office.

Listed below are the APS units, along with the associated prosecutor’s office, in the counties of Senate District 42.

Decatur County:

APS Unit 11

Office of Bartholomew County Prosecutor William Nash

Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Rush counties:

APS Unit 12

Office of Dearborn County Prosecutor Lynn Deddens

Henry County:

APS Unit 6

Office of Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings

Shelby County:

APS Unit 8B

Office of Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen

If you or someone you know is the victim of elder abuse, you can report it by filling out a form online at http://ddrsprovider.fssa.in.gov/APSOnlineReporting or by calling the hotline at 800-992-6978. Those who report an issue can remain anonymous. Indiana residents can also call 2-1-1, a free, confidential service available 24/7 that helps callers find the local resources they need.

Abuse of any kind is unacceptable, and the APS units around our state are here to protect you and your loved ones. I encourage all Indiana residents to learn more about this program and the important resources it provides.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding this or other topics, contact me by email at Senator.Leising@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.

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