Elderly Protection Assistance
What is the Elderly Protective Services Program?
The purpose of Elderly Protective Services (EPS) is to protect adults who cannot physically or mentally protect themselves and who are harmed or threatened with harm through action or inaction by themselves or by the individuals responsible for their care or by other persons.
Office of Aging and Adult Services provides Adult Protective Services to adults 18-59 who have a disability and Elderly Protective Services for those who are 60 and older.
More information may be found at the following web site. http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/120
HOTLINES TO REPORT ADULT ABUSE, NEGLECT, OR EXPLOITATION
Adult Protective Services Hotline (ages 18- 59): 1-800-898-4910
Elderly Protective Hotline (ages 60 and over: 1-800-898-4910
Protective services is A Safety Net for those who cannot protect themselves:
EPS is the program administered by the State of Louisiana with regional offices that respond to reports of suspected abuse or neglect against persons aged 60 and older. EPS acts to prevent, remedy, halt or hinder acts of abuse and neglect against an elder adult in the community, while promoting the maximum possible degree of personal freedom, dignity and self-determination. Only when other efforts fail will EPS recommend referral or admission to an appropriate care facility for the elder adult, or seek judicial remedy to the situation.
What is elder abuse?
Louisiana law (R.S. 14:403.2, 15:1501 et.seq.) protects adults aged 60 or older from acts or omissions which result in physical or emotional abuse and neglect, inflicted by caregivers and from self-neglect by an individual. Louisiana law also protects seniors from acts of financial exploitation and extortion.
What are some signs of elder abuse?
Individuals may mail questions or request information regarding abuse here:
• Physical actions, such as pushing, hitting, restraining an elder;
• Emotional and verbal intimidation, such as screaming, threatening, insulting an elder;
• Withdrawal or isolation by an elder;
• Sexual exploitation, involving an elder in any act or situation that is sexual in nature without their consent;
• Neglect, such as withholding of medicine, medical care, food, personal care, utilities, or daily necessities, or overmedication, or self-neglect;
• Financial extortion or exploitation, such as theft or misuse of money, property or the possessions of the elder.
Who should contact the people at EPS?
Physicians, medical interns, dentists, nurses, social workers, family counselors, police officers, licensed psychologists, coroners, registered podiatrists, occupational therapists, osteopaths, probation officers, financial directors, bank tellers, family members, friends...any one who has reasonable cause to believe an adult aged 60 or older is being abused or neglected by a caregiver or by self-inflicted acts should contact the EPS office.
What should be reported to EPS when an incident occurs?
Simply use your eyes and ears to note any unusual occurrences, such as: burns, bruises, black or swollen eyes, broken bones, dilated pupils, evidence of restraints, bedsores, lack of clothing or dirty clothing, body odor, dehydrated or malnourished appearance, no utilities in the home, disappearance of personal property, absence of food or medication, frequent change in doctors, discontinuation of visitor privileges, no visitors allowed, individual expressions of shame, embarrassment or fear.
The persons reporting incidents of abuse or neglect are immune from civil and criminal liability if they acted in good faith. Further, a person who knowingly fails to report abuse may be liable for fines and/or imprisonment. It is everyone's responsibility to report abuse or neglect of an elder.
What happens after a report is made?
Trained EPS staff screens all reports. If a report does not meet criteria for services or is ineligible, the case is referred to alternative community services and resources for action. Eligible cases of abuse or neglect are investigated by EPS program staff, who intervene when and where appropriate, and prepare a plan of resolution utilizing community resources. EPS staff monitors this plan at each step until the situation is stabilized. EPS program staff may call for physical, psychiatric or psychological evaluations as necessary, and will assist in obtaining alternative living arrangements for older adults when the situation requires it. When EPS staff determines a case of abuse or neglect cannot be remedied by other means, they may seek judicial action and may refer the case to the local District Attorney for civil or criminal action.
How to report suspected abuse or neglect:
Telephone the toll free EPS Statewide Hotline (from within Louisiana only) at 1-(800) 259-4990 or, if out-of-state, call 1-(225)-342-9722.
Lake Charles Region 5
One Lakeshore Dr., Ste. 700
Lake Charles, LA 70629
Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis