Adult protective services include receiving and investigating reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of older and other vulnerable adults, assessing risk factors, and arranging for and managing services for the victim according to the situation. If a report is of an emergency nature, APS workers transfer the information to the police or emergency personnel. In non-emergency cases, caseworkers contact the victim within an established time frame to begin the investigation.
In addition to an assessment of risk factors, the assigned APS worker begins by assessing the victim's capacity to understand the situation and to consent to the investigation and receive services. Having received consent, the worker creates a service plan based on the client's needs, such as emergency shelter, home-delivered meals, visiting nurse services or medical evaluation. APS works closely with law enforcement when it appears a crime has occurred, and law enforcement officers may make arrests, enforce restraining orders, perform welfare checks and assist APS in its investigation.
A national survey of 6,000 elderly individuals conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse found that among older adults reporting abuse 57 percent indicated a spouse or partner as the abuser. Services for elder adults who experience domestic violence include crisis intervention, safety planning, a cell phone loan program, advocacy and legal assistance in addition to other APS services.