Red Flags of Abuse

Does someone you know—an older adult or adult with a disability—display any warning signs of mistreatment? If so, call Adult Protective Services immediately.

Neglect/Self Neglect: Failure of the caregiver or individual to provide care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, medical care.
  • Lack of basic hygiene, adequate food, or clean and appropriate clothing
  • Lack of medical aids (glasses, walker, teeth, hearing aid, medications)
  • Cognitive issues, yet left unsupervised
  • Confined to a bed and left without care
  • Home is cluttered, filthy, in disrepair, or having fire and safety hazards
  • Home is without adequate facilities (stove, refrigerator, heat, cooling, working plumbing, and electricity)
  • Untreated pressure “bed” sores (pressure ulcers)

Financial Abuse/Exploitation: Unjust or improper use of an elderly person or his/her resources for profit.
  • Lack of amenities victim could afford
  • Vulnerable elder/adult “voluntarily” giving excessive financial reimbursement/gifts for needed care and companionship
  • Caregiver controls elder’s money but fails to provide for elder’s needs
  • Vulnerable elder/adult has signed asset transfers (Power of Attorney, bank account, trust, new will, etc.) but is unable to comprehend the transaction or what it means

Psychological/Emotional Abuse: Removal of decision making power, isolating the victim, withholding affection.
  • Unexplained or uncharacteristic changes in behavior, such as withdrawal from normal activities
  • Unexplained changes in alertness, depression
  • Caregiver is isolating the elder (doesn’t let anyone into the home or speak to the elder)
  • Caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling or uncaring

Physical/Sexual Abuse: Inflicting pain or injury, threatening injury, denial of physical and health related necessities.
  • Inadequately explained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores or burns
  • Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases

What Should I Do if I Suspect Abuse?
Contact Adult Protective Services
Hotline: 216-420-6700
Web Portal
(Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, including holidays. Calls are handled by 216-696-KIDS after hours and on weekends.)

Lawrence Vavro , Chief
Phone: 216-420-6741
Natasha Pietrocola, MEd, MBA , Director, Division of Senior and Adult Services
Phone: 216-420-6761
Division of Senior and Adult Services
13815 Kinsman Road
Cleveland OH 44120

DSAS Connection Center: 216-420-6700