Adults sometimes live or behave in ways that are unhealthy or unsafe. These behaviors may pose a danger to the individual or to others. For adults who are found to be legally incompetent and are a danger to themselves or others, the Department of Human Services is obligated to provide protection and services. For adults who are competent and act in unhealthy or unsafe ways, the Department of Human Services encourages individuals to accept services that will result in a healthier and safer day to day life for themselves and others.
Every action taken by Adult Protective Services must balance the duty to protect the safety of the vulnerable adult with the adult’s right to self-determination.
Older persons and persons with disabilities who are victims of mistreatment should be treated with honesty, caring, and respect.
Protective services are intended to assess the degree to which an individual is at risk and to offer services that help the individual stay safe and healthy. These services are usually voluntary, although in certain situations services may be court-ordered.