What is a vulnerable adult?
Resources for friends & family
If you know a vulnerable adult who is being harmed in any way, either by the actions of other people or through self- neglect, call one of the following numbers:
- If this is an emergency, immediately call 911
- For long-term care residents:
- For all others:
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| || Resources for Law Enforcement|| || |
| || Law Enforcement Manual|| || |
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Phone: (360) 586-8888
Fax: (360) 586-8877
Mail: Office of the Attorney General
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
PO Box 40114
Olympia, WA 98504
More information on filing complaints
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A vulnerable adult is one who by virtue of:
- Physical injury
- Disease or
- Emotional or developmental disorders
is unable to independently provide for their own basic necessities of life.
This would include, but is not necessarily limited to:
Adults who reside in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, adult family homes, boarding homes or assisted living facilities or
Those who receive health care or other assistance in providing for the basic necessities of life while residing in their own home.
What is vulnerable adult abuse?
Vulnerable adult abuse is a term used to describe 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.
Elder Abuse is:
- Pushing, hitting, punching
- Shouting at, berating, intimidating, or threatening to harm an elderly person
- Taking financial advantage of one who is lonely, vulnerable or has memory lapses
- Taking money an elderly person needs, “borrowing” money with no intention to pay it back, tricking someone into buying something they have no use for
- Neglecting an elderly person’s physical, medical and emotional needs or
- Allowing an older adult to neglect their personal needs.
What to look for:
What is self-neglect and what are the signs?
- Unexplained injuries, bruises, burns, puncture wounds, cuts, sunken eyes and/or welts
- Excessive fears, withdrawal, agitation
- Sudden inability to pay bills, buy food or personal items
- Changes in appetite or unusual weight gain or loss
- Poor personal hygiene
- Does not know personal finances or
- Unexplained changes in health.
- Failure to take essential medications or refusal to seek medical treatment for serious illness or injuries
- Leaving a burning stove unattended
- Poor hygiene
- Not wearing suitable clothing for the weather
- Inability to attend to housekeeping or
Tips for families and friends:
- Respect and honor your elders
- Report suspected abuse/mistreatment or self-neglect
- Find sources of help and use them
- Visit regularly monitor the well being of elderly neighbors
- Keep track of medication and doctors’ visits
- Volunteer to help
- Realize abuse can happen in your family or neighborhood
- Speak up when something looks or sounds wrong.
Warnings for older adults:
- Don’t live with a person who has a background of violent behavior or alcohol or drug abuse
- Don’t hesitate to tell others if you are abused, mistreated, neglected – your doctor, the clergy, a friend or family member
- Don’t leave cash or valuables out in the open
- Don’t give friends or family money you need to live on
- Don’t sign a document unless someone you trust reads it
- Don’t allow anyone to keep details of your finances or property from you.
Additional information regarding reporting fraud and/or abuse, protecting seniors and Medicaid Fraud is also available.
Caring people can help stop elder abuse and mistreatment in their families and community: Take charge!
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