Winter will be here soon. The season can be hard on adults who are vulnerable for some reason – such as a disability, health condition, or old age.
More than 5,600 vulnerable Alaskan adults were at risk for abuse or were victims of self-neglect, neglect, or physical, emotional, and financial abuse last year.
If you know an adult who is unable to care for him- or herself properly, or may be being harmed or exploited, please contact Adult Protective Services at 1-800-478-9996.
We work to protect the independence and physical, financial and emotional wellbeing of adults 18 and older. Our services are voluntary; Alaska law protects the right of mentally competent adults to choose liberty over safety, and we’ll honor their decision while offering support.
So don’t hesitate to “SPEAK UP” for at-risk adults if you see any of these warning signs:
• Sudden change in behavior, finances or lifestyle
• Physical injures, dehydration or malnourishment;
• Extreme withdrawal, depression or anxiety;
• Absence of basic care or necessities;
• Kept away from others;
• Unsanitary living conditions;
• Personal items or money missing.
You don’t have to be certain that a situation is abusive or neglectful; we will look into it. Your report is confidential, and can make all the difference in someone’s world.
• Brenda Mahlatini, program manager, Adult Protective Services, Division of Senior & Disabilities Services, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.