Getting Wiser About Elder Abuse

Jun 15, 2020

Did you know that 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced abuse?

Unfortunately, elder abuse is real for older adults, but it’s not an issue many of us discuss or know much about. To help bring attention to this problem, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization created World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, celebrated each year on June 15. 

In Summit County, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro’s Department of Job and Family Services administers the Adult Protective Services (APS) program. This state-mandated program is charged with investigating suspected cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults ages 60 and over. In 2019, the APS hotline received 2,347 referrals concerning abuse of the elderly in Summit County and over 1,100 reported cases of elder abuse were opened for investigation.

Upon receiving and accepting a referral, an APS investigator will meet with the identified adult in his or her home to determine the need for protective services. The investigator then follows the least restrictive alternative necessary to remedy conditions of abuse, neglect, or exploitation when providing protective services.

If a case does not rise to the level of protective services, the investigator may make referrals to supportive services in the community. The Summit County Elder Abuse Interdisciplinary Team (I-Team) works collaboratively to keep seniors safe and healthy in their homes. 

The I-Team is comprised of partners from the Summit County APS program, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Summit County Probate Court, Direction Home Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority and others.

Anyone suspecting that an adult may be suffering from abuse, neglect or exploitation should contact Adult Protective Services at 330.643.7217

When making a referral please have the following information available: the adult’s name, age, address, the nature and extent of the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and the basis for the caller’s belief that the adult has been abused, neglected or exploited. Anonymous reports are accepted.