“The opioid abuse crisis may be contributing to a ‘staggering’ spike in adult protective services caseloads. And local officials fear the problem will only get worse.”
(AP Photo/Al Behrman)
by Quinn Libson
“Five years ago, the vast majority of cases being investigated by Adult Protective Services agencies in places like Fairfield County, Ohio, which includes the far southeastern suburbs of Columbus and borders the state’s Appalachian region, could be categorized as neglect or self-neglect. These cases might involve hoarding behaviors on the part of older adults, seniors that are incapable of staying on top of critical medication routines, or an older person going without food or proper sanitation.
“‘Basically older people who were no longer able to take care of themselves or their own basic needs,’ is how Janet Stout, a Fairfield County APS caseworker, described these cases. Fast forward to today, and Stout’s work looks very different.”
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