Survey of Adult Protective Services Professionals Shows 78 Percent Increase in Adult and Elder Abuse Cases since the Beginning of the Economic Downturn
Reston, VA – March 8, 2011 – Harmony Information Systems, Inc. (Harmony), the leader in integrated health and human services management, today announced the results of a survey of Adult Protective Services (APS) professionals throughout the country, which shows a 78 percent increase in reported Elder Abuse cases in 2010. In the study, respondents cited an increase in the aging population and better awareness of elder abuse as the key drivers for the increase in reported abuse cases.
During the study, which took place during the fourth quarter of 2010 and at the National Adult Protective Services Association‘s (NAPSA) Annual Conference, APS professionals were surveyed on trends occurring in adult abuse in their respective states and regions. While cases of abuse, such as self-neglect and emotional abuse continue to rise, 92 percent of respondents also cited an increase in financial exploitation cases since the beginning of the economic downturn. Financial exploitation includes forging an older person’s signature, cashing a senior’s checks without authorization, deceiving an elder adult into signing any contract, or misusing or stealing an older person’s money or possessions. According to the survey, since the start of the recession, 75 percent of survey respondents saw a 10 to 25 percent increase in financial exploitation cases reported.
With these increases in reported elder abuse cases, many APS organizations are struggling with the rise in demand for resources and services. In the study, 81 percent of APS professionals cited increase in demand without enough funding as the biggest challenge facing their organization. As these issues continue to grow, many agencies are also struggling with a reduction in staff and a lack of available resources.
In addition, many respondents are concerned with the current status of the Elder Justice Act, which would provide additional funds for the continuation of APS programs. Over 36 percent of respondents feel the Elder Justice Act won’t have any impact because it will not be funded, while 45 percent of APS professionals feel that the act will lead to the hiring of additional staff.
“With a growing aging population and a continued lack of resources, the results of this survey highlight the depth of concern APS professionals have as they face greater obstacles in protecting the elderly and other vulnerable adults,” said Joseph Sander, President and Chief Executive Officer for Harmony. “This increase in reported abuse and financial exploitation should be a red flag to government officials. Only through education, proper funding and technological innovation can APS organizations more effectively investigate reported cases of abuse and mitigate issues before they result in catastrophic events.”
The Harmony suite of solutions is the gold standard for aging services organizations throughout the country. Harmony for Aging and Adult Services is the most widely-used solution in the United States for home and community-based care and is relied on by the majority of agencies across the national aging network. Harmony for APS, which was introduced in 2009, is already live in three state-wide deployments. Together, these two Harmony products make up the only fully integrated suite of off-the-shelf solutions for aging and adult services organizations and their web-based delivery model shortens implementation times, decreases upfront capital expenses and provides anywhere, anytime access by case workers.
For additional information and access to complete survey results, please visit: http://info.harmonyis.com/APSIndustryReportRequest.html.
Harmony Information Systems Inc., (Harmony), the leader in integrated health and human services management, provides comprehensive solutions that enable organizations to manage growing consumer case loads with existing resources. The company’s end-to-end solutions manage the delivery of care for elders and intellectually disabled persons, enabling organizations to maximize outcomes while increasing service delivery efficiency, ensuring compliance with funding requirements, and automating Medicaid waiver processes. Harmony products are used by more than 450 state, local, and private provider human service organizations to manage both traditional and consumer-directed models of service. For more information on Harmony products and solutions, visit www.harmonyis.com or call us at 866.951.2219.