June is National Vulnerable Adult Awareness Month and Olmsted County is raising awareness about how to recognize and prevent this abuse.
National and international research shows that abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults is grossly underreported. It is important to recognize there are different types of vulnerable adult abuse, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation and scams, and neglect.
Some signs of vulnerable adult abuse include isolation, fear, depression, changes in sleep or appetite, injuries such as bruises or marks on their body that may be unexplainable, poor living conditions, untreated bed sores, poor hygiene, unpaid bills, unusual changes in bank accounts or money management, fraudulent signatures, or unusual or sudden changes in wills or other financial documents.
The Olmsted County Adult Protective Services team receives and investigates reports of alleged abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults who are unable to protect themselves due to physical or mental impairments. In 2022, Olmsted County Adult Protective Services opened 236 cases for investigation related to the maltreatment of vulnerable adults.
“Our Adult Protection Team is comprised of four full-time social workers and an embedded Olmsted County Sheriff’s investigator,” said Olmsted County Associate Director of Adult and Family Services Angela Lettner. “The team provides services to ensure the safety and well-being of vulnerable adults by providing education, advocacy, and resources to our community.”
To make a report, please contact the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at 1-844-880-1574. Mandated reporters can make reports online.