Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of the Elderly and Disabled
Missouri Elder Abuse Hotline
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) investigates abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable individuals 60 and older and people with disabilities between 18 and 59. These individuals may live in the community or in long-term care facilities. Either way, they are unable to protect their own interests or adequately perform or obtain services necessary to meet their essential human needs (660.250, RSMo).
Missouri’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Hotline responds to reports of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. If you suspect someone is being abused, neglected or exploited, call the hotline at 800-392-0210. The hotline operates 365 days per year from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hearing-impaired persons may call the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), at 800-669-8819 or 800-676-3777 to utilize Relay Missouri.
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What is Abuse?
Abuse happens to people of all ethnicities and income levels and can be physical, sexual or emotional in nature. For information on abuse statistics in Missouri, see Elder Abuse- It is a Crime.
Abuse – the infliction of physical, sexual, or emotional injury or harm including financial exploitation by any person, firm, or corporation.
Neglect – the failure to provide services to an eligible adult by any person, firm or corporation with a legal or contractual duty to do so, when such failure presents either an imminent danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the client or a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm would result .
Financial Exploitation – A person commits the crime of financial exploitation of an elderly or disabled person if such person knowingly and by deception, intimidation, or force obtains control over the elderly or disabled person's property with the intent to permanently deprive the elderly or disabled person of the use, benefit or possession of his or her property thereby benefiting such person or detrimentally affecting the elderly or disabled person.
Adult Protective Services
For community-dwelling adults and persons with disabilities, the Department of Health and Senior Services provides Adult Protective Services (APS). Protective services are provided on behalf of eligible adults who are unable to:
- manage their own affairs;
- carry out the activities of daily living; or,
- protect themselves from abuse, neglect, or exploitation which may result in harm or a hazard to themselves or others.
The purpose of Adult Protective Services is to:
- promote independence;
- maximize client choice and provide for meaningful client input for preferences;
- keep the adult at home by providing quality alternatives to institutional care; and,
- empower the older adult to attain or maintain optimal self-determination.
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