Aging & Long-Term Services Department Raises Awareness About Elder Abuse and Neglect
State asks New Mexicans for help protecting vulnerable adults
SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD) recognizes Friday, June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to raise awareness about adult abuse and how to report suspected cases. ALTSD encourages New Mexicans to report suspected cases of adult abuse, neglect and exploitation to the Department’s Adult Protective Services (APS).
The APS Division remains on call for emergent reports 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of persons age 18 or older who do not have the capacity to help themselves.
“It’s everyone’s responsibility to report suspected cases of adult abuse, neglect or exploitation to ensure that those who need our help the most are able to live safely and with dignity.,” said ALTSD Acting Cabinet Secretary Kyky Knowles. “We are committed to protecting the safety of adults who are not able to protect themselves.”
State law requires anyone who suspects abuse, neglect, exploitation or any other mistreatment of an incapacitated adult to report it immediately. If you suspect an adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited, call Adult Protective Services – who can investigate the situation. Call APS Intake toll-free at 1-866-654-3219 or 1-505-476-4912. If you believe that an older person is in a life-threatening situation, contact 911 or the local law enforcement.
Common signs of abuse:
Unexplained signs of injuries, i.e., bruises, welts and sprains.
The caregiver’s refusal to allow you to see the elder alone.
Common signs of neglect:
Weight loss, dehydration, untreated physical and medical needs.
Unsanitary or unsafe living conditions.
Common signs of exploitation:
Unexplained changes in the elder’s financial condition.
Missing items/cash from elder’s home.
Sudden changes in wills or power of attorney.
Scammer phone calls and phony charities.
From July 2016 to June 2017, Adult Protective Services investigated more than 6,200 cases across New Mexico. Of the substantiated allegations, 67% percent were self-neglect. If a case is substantiated, Adult Protective Services may be able to help provide important interventions.
To learn more about elder abuse, and how to report suspected cases, visit the ALTSD Adult Protective Services online at: http://www.nmaging.state.nm.us/Adult_ProtectiveServices.aspx or the National Center on Elder Abuse website at https://ncea.acl.gov/.