Risk Factors for Adult Protective Services Involvement Among Medicare Beneficiaries in Washington State

May 2022 |
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The Adult Protective Services (APS) program administered by the DSHS Aging and Long-Term Support Administration investigates reports of self-neglect, financial exploitation, neglect, or abuse of vulnerable adults in Washington. In 2018, APS received 60,038 reports of abuse and neglect. This report describes the risk factors associated with APS outcomes for adults and elders enrolled in Medicare in Washington state. Risk factors in four general domains (sociodemographic characteristics, physical and behavioral health conditions, functional impairments, and social networks) were examined. Although several risk factors have similar prevalence patterns across the adult (under age 60) and elder (ages 60 and older) Medicare populations, some risk factors are more salient for specific age groups and allegation types. For example, intellectual and developmental disabilities are particularly prevalent among adults under 60 identified as an alleged victim in non-self-neglect allegations whereas Alzheimer’s is more prevalent among elders identified as an alleged victim in non-self-neglect allegations.

The analyses presented in this report and planned future research are intended to contribute to a better understanding of the factors associated with the risk of abuse and neglect among vulnerable adults. This information could help identify intervention points to reduce the risk of APS involvement, in a demographic context where the APS system likely will need to respond to an increasing number of reports as the population of Washington state ages and the number of vulnerable adults increases.

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