Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective Services staff investigate reports of abuse, neglect (including self-neglect) or financial exploitation of adults who are unable to protect themselves due to a physical or mental limitation. APS staff assess the need for protective services and provide services to reduce the identified risk to the adult. 

 

Do you need to report suspected abuse of a vulnerable or elderly adult?

Call: Toll Free 1-888-APS-TENN (1-888-277-8366)

Or, report suspected abuse online at our secure site: https://reportadultabuse.dhs.tn.gov/ 


The Tennessee Department of Human Services' Adult Protective Services unit is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and the Tennessee Vulnerable Adult Coalition (TVAC) to help raise awareness and stop elder abuse. To view our Public Service Announcement, click on the window below.

VIDEO: Unheard Cries

VIDEO: It Takes a Village

 

Learn More About:

Suicide Prevention

Adult Protection Act

The General Assembly passed the Tennessee Protective Services for Elderly Persons Act in 1974. This was later repealed and amended to include all adults with the passage in 1978 of the Tennessee Adult Protection Act. To read Title 71, Chapter 6, Part 1, click here.

Report Abuse and Neglect
Toll free: 1-888-APS-TENN (1-888-277-8366) 

Online: https://reportadultabuse.dhs.tn.gov/

Investigation Process 

INVESTIGATION PROCESS / WHAT WILL HAPPEN

A DHS/APS counselor will visit the adult to determine the need for protective services.

Family, friends, or professionals who know about the adult's situation may be contacted.

The APS counselor will work with the adult victim and others (family, friends, volunteers, and professionals) to assist the adult and reduce the danger.

If the adult victim is capable, he/she will be encouraged to make decisions regarding needed care or services. Whenever it is possible, Adult Protective Services staff will assist the adult in remaining in his/her home or community.

Some adults may refuse help. Legally, services cannot be forced on an adult, except in special circumstances as specified in the law. Involuntary services always require a court order.

Legal action is used only after all other appropriate solutions have been explored.

Report Abuse and Neglect
Toll free: 1-888-APS-TENN (1-888-277-8366) 

Online: https://reportadultabuse.dhs.tn.gov/

Report or Ask for Help

Adult Protective Services may assist an adult in any living arrangement including nursing homes, group homes, their own homes, homes of relatives or friends, etc. The exception is residents of state operated institutions for individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities. This exception became effective May 2001.

Report Abuse and Neglect
Toll free: 1-888-APS-TENN (1-888-277-8366)

Online: https://reportadultabuse.dhs.tn.gov/

What is Abuse, Neglect, Financial Exploitation

Neglect occurs when the basic needs of a dependent adult are not met by a caregiver. Neglect may be unintentional, resulting from the caregiver's lack of ability to provide or arrange for the care or services the adult requires. Neglect also may be due to the intentional failure of the caregiver to meet the adult's needs.

Self-Neglect occurs when a dependent adult is unable to care for him/herself or to obtain needed care. The impairments result in significant danger to the adult and in some situations deterioration can occur to the point that the adult's life may be at risk.

Abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional) generally involves more extreme forms of harm to the adult, including the infliction of pain, injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, or other cruel treatment.

Financial Exploitation occurs when a caregiver improperly uses funds intended for the care or use of the adult. These are funds paid to the adult or to the caregiver by a governmental agency.

Report Abuse and Neglect
Toll free: 1-888-APS-TENN (1-888-277-8366)

Online: https://reportadultabuse.dhs.tn.gov/

 

Reports and Information:

APS Manual
Stopping abuse of the elderly and persons who have disabilities may start with you (Brochure)