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Governor designates September ‘Vulnerable Adult Awareness Month’

Recognition highlights increasing number of cases of harm to vulnerable adults

 

ANCHORAGE — Reports of harm to Alaska’s Adult Protective Services office have increased 172 percent in
the past five fiscal years. Still, researchers estimate only a fraction of cases is reported — maybe one in five.

To highlight this problem, Gov. Sean Parnell has designated September “Vulnerable Adult Awareness Month.”

Vulnerable adults are 18 and older and have a physical or mental impairment, such as a disability, traumatic brain
injury or other health condition that prevents them from protecting themselves or seeking help from someone else.

Adult Protective Services helped 810 vulnerable adults with 848 cases of financial, physical or emotional abuse,
neglect and self-neglect between summer 2010 and summer 2011. Another 1,438 adults were helped with
information and referrals to services.

If Alaskans know a vulnerable adult who is at immediate risk, they should call 911. If they believe a vulnerable
adult may be being harmed or exploited, or is unable to care for himself or herself, they should call Adult Protective
Services, 1-800-478-9996.

For more information, visit www.hss.state.ak.us/dsds/aps.htm.

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