Adult Protective Services

The ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES PROGRAM, under authority of the Illinois Adult Protective Services Act, responds to reports of alleged abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of persons 60 years of age and older, and of persons age 18-59 with disabilities living in the community. In DeKalb County, Elder Care Services is the only agency designated by the Illinois Department on Aging to investigate and intervene on behalf of persons who are victims of reported acts of abuse.  In all aspects of service delivery, the mentally competent adult’s right to make their own decisions, is our primary consideration. The Adult Protective Services Program is designed to build upon the existing legal, medical, and social service systems in place, and ensures the system is more responsive to the needs of abuse victims. Program services include a 24 hour hotline, standardized screening, and investigation of all reports received. Abuse reports are often made by ‘mandated’ reporters such as:  police, emergency medical service providers, home care aids, or from non-mandated reporters such as family, friends, neighbors, or the victims themselves.  Anonymous reports are also accepted. In all circumstances, confidentiality is maintained for any reporter, as required by law. Victims of substantiated reports of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation are provided case planning and case management/coordination to stabilize and reduce subsequent risk.  Follow-up oversight may also continue for an additional year to ensure problems do not re-occur.

What is abuse?

Illinois law describes “Abuse” as causing any physical, mental or sexual injury to an eligible adult, including exploitation of such adult’s financial resources. “Eligible adult” means either an adult with disabilities aged 18 through 59 or a person aged 60 or older who resides in a domestic living situation and is, or is alleged to be, abused, neglected, or financially exploited by another individual or who neglects himself or herself.

Physical Abuse

Causing the infliction of physical pain or injury to an eligible adult.

Sexual Abuse

Touching, fondling, sexual threats, sexually inappropriate remarks, or any other sexual activity with an eligible adult when he or she is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened or physically forced to engage in sexual behavior.

Emotional Abuse

Verbal assaults, threats of maltreatment, harassment or intimidation intended to compel the eligible adult to engage in conduct from which he or she wishes and has a right to abstain, or to refrain from conduct in which the eligible adult wishes and has the right to engage.


Restraining or isolating, without authority, an eligible adult for other than medical reasons, as ordered by a physician.

Passive Neglect

Another individual’s failure to provide an eligible adult with the necessities of life including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter or medical care because of failure to understand the eligible adult’s needs, lack of awareness of services to help meet needs, or a lack of capacity to care for the eligible adult.

Willful Deprivation

Deliberate denial of medications, medical care, shelter, food, therapeutic devices, or other physical assistance to a person, who because of age, health, or disability, requires such assistance and there by exposes that person to the risk of physical, mental, or emotional harm because of such denial: except with respect to medical care or treatment when the dependent person has expressed an intent to forego such medical care of treatment and has the capacity to understand the consequences.

Financial Exploitation

The use of an adult’s resources by another to the disadvantage of that adult or the profit or advantage of a person other than that adult. Please call 815-758-6550 to report any suspected abuse during regular business hours or call the Illinois Adult Protective Services Hotline anytime at 1-866-800-1409. Abuse reports alleging imminent harm are responded to 24/7. Elder Care Services only responds to reports of abuse to persons living in the residential community. To report abuse of an adult in a nursing facility, please call the Ombudsmen at 815-316-0040 or 1-800-369-0895. To report abuse or neglect of an adult with disabilities age 18-59 who live in and receive services in programs that are operated, licensed, certified or funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services, please call the Office of Inspector General at 1-800-368-1463.

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