Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary
Phyllis Gilmore announced a new campaign Friday that will focus on protection of
adults who are vulnerable to abuse or neglect.
Elderly or disabled adults can be targets for physical or
financial abuse or neglect from caretakers. SRS is responsible for receiving
reports of abuse or neglect and investigating those claims.
“It’s a tragedy that often times the most vulnerable in our
society are abused or taken advantage of,” said Secretary Gilmore. “Our goal is
to educate fellow Kansans about the signs of abuse and what they can do to
prevent or stop it from occurring.”
Signs of adult abuse include bruises, or other physical
marks, saying someone hurt them, drastic loss in weight, increased depression or
isolation, and new problems paying bills or for medications.
From July 1, 2011 to March 30, 2012 there were 11,154 reports
of alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation of an adult. Of those, 7,632 were
assigned for follow-up by an SRS social worker.
In the course of six stakeholder meetings held around the
state earlier this year, SRS found many Kansans are not aware of
protection services designed for adults who are susceptible to abuse or
neglect. Through brochures, bookmarks and other printed material, as well as
presentations from SRS staff to long-term care facilities, law enforcement,
medical practitioners, and county attorneys, the agency hopes to grow
understanding of the unique factors of adult abuse and neglect.
“Our overall goal is for everyone to know they have a part in
helping ensure our vulnerable adults are protected, that they get support and
resources they need,” Gilmore said. “With the number of Baby Boomers aging, and
resources dwindling, our role to go out there and assist folks is even more
important than it’s ever been.“
The campaign will distribute Adult Protective Services book
marks and brochures statewide. In addition, SRS is coordinating adult abuse
prevention presentations statewide to raise awareness among nursing homes,
retirement facilities, law enforcement organizations, medical professionals and
To request an Adult Protection Services presentation for your
organization, please call Leslie Huss, APS Program Manager, at (785) 368-8105.
To report suspected abuse of an adult, please call the
Protection Report Center at (800) 922-5330.