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April 23, 2013
News media urged to remind public to call EndHarm to report abuse of vulnerable adults

OLYMPIA: A concerned and caring citizen may have saved the life of an elderly woman recently by reporting suspicions of abuse to Adult Protective Services at the Department of Social and Health Services.

The story about the woman, who was found in a "homemade crib" while under the care of her daughter, was published in the Seattle Times on April 17.

DSHS would like to remind the media and the public that reports of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults can be made by calling DSHS at its 24-hour, toll-free number: 1-866-EndHarm (1-866-363-4276 or TTY: 1-800-737-7931). There are English and Spanish language options.

APS investigates the following types of elder abuse: psychological/emotional, physical/sexual assault, self-neglect, abandonment, neglect by caregivers and financial exploitation.

The Department relies on family, friends, neighbors, community workers and mandatory reporters to alert us about elder abuse.

APS conducts investigations at no charge, regardless of income. However, state law doesn’t permit APS to remove alleged victims from their homes without their permission.

The alleged victims must be determined to be "vulnerable" by age or disability in order for us to investigate. But we will do whatever possible to intervene within the limits of state laws.

For more information: http://www.adsa.dshs.wa.gov/APS/.

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DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.