Adult abuse continues to rise throughout Washington | Department of Social Health Services

July is Adult Abuse Prevention Month.

  • Monday, July 9, 2018 2:30pm
  • News

The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) continues to see a sharp increase in adult abuse reports across the state. Adult Abuse Prevention Month in July is intended to raise awareness and remind everyone to remain vigilant when it comes to the health and welfare of some of Washington’s most vulnerable citizens.

Financial exploitation is the most common type of adult abuse, and the form that has seen the sharpest rise in recent years. In 2017, DSHS’ Adult Protective Services conducted 10,713 investigations related to financial exploitation, nearly double the number of investigations conducted in 2012. It now accounts for more than 25 percent of all investigations.

Signs of financial exploitation include:

  • Adding additional names on bank signature cards
  • Unauthorized withdrawal of funds using an ATM card
  • Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents
  • Unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions
  • Bills unpaid despite having sufficient funds
  • Forging a signature on financial transactions or for the titles of possessions
  • Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming rights to a vulnerable adult’s possessions
  • Unexplained sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family

Even with thousands of cases of adult abuse in a year, we know that for every investigation, many others go unreported. DSHS believes the increase in reports and investigations reflects improved awareness of adult abuse among the public. In addition, as our state’s population of people who are older continues to increase, the potential for adult abuse increases.

Anyone who suspects abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult is encouraged to make a report at www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/reportadultabuse or call 1-866-ENDHARM (1-866-363-4276). You can make a report 24 hours a day, seven days a week and APS will contact you the next business day. All reports are confidential.

Signs of abuse include:

  • Suspicious or unexplained bruises, sores or weight loss
  • A sudden change in personality
  • Neglect of hygiene, clothing, home, medicine or food
  • Personal belongings are missing
  • Verbal aggression
  • No longer attending social functions or regular activities
  • Losing contact with family and friends, being isolated from loved ones

More in News

Sharing the love this Valentine’s Day

Crestwood Elementary student Kinzi Hansen organized a Valentines Box drive so every elementary student in her school district could celebrate the holiday.

Final work begins this week on Buckley traffic lights

Police will be guiding traffic on state Route 410 in Buckley Feb. 14, 20, and 21, so plan accordingly.

President’s emergency declaration sparks immediate legal backlash

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said his team will sue the White House if federal funds originally intended for Washington state are interrupted.

‘Activity backpacks’ for exploring state parks to be available at your local library

There are several guidelines to make checking out the backpacks a smooth process.

Bill targets sexual health curriculum in Washington schools

Senate Bill 5395 is co-sponsored by 17 Democratic representatives and introduced by Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Federal Way.

According to King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) annual report, Seattle had the highest rate of people using services at 36 percent of the total, followed by 31 percent from South King County, 18 percent from the greater Eastside, and 7 percent from north county including Shoreline.
Study shows King County’s treatment funding is making progress

A document on the county’s .1 percent health sales tax was accepted Wednesday by the county council.

Baby wouldn’t wait: Bonney Lake mom delivers son at spa

At 7 pounds, 8 ounces and stretching 21 inches, Brooks Edwin Christiansen entered the world at 2:50 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Children’s play area at Seadrunar. Photo by Lauren Davis via Facebook
Seedy side of Seadrunar: Drug rehab center accused of neglect, exploitation

Public records reveal that Seattle facility was accused of neglecting children and clients in its care.

Enumclaw woman dies due to weather conditions

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office as of Feb. 12 confirmed four deaths caused by hypothermia during the recent weather conditions.

Most Read