The Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS) carries out the legal requirements of the Protective Services to Adults Law under the Adult Protection Program. The purpose of the law, which is civil and not criminal, is to provide protection for incapacitated adults who are age 18 and older, who are abused, neglected, exploited, or self-neglecting.
Adult Protection Program activities include:
- The receipt and investigation of reports of alleged emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation, and/or self-neglect, and referral to law enforcement agencies as necessary;
- The determination of the validity of the report and the need for protective services; and
- The provision of and/or arrangement for the provision of protective services when necessary, and when accepted by the adult who has been determined to be in need.
The Adult Protection Law requires any person who has a reason to believe that an incapacitated adult has been subjected to abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect to make a report to the appropriate state agency or office.
The responsibility to receive and investigate reports of suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect of incapacitated adults under NH's Adult Protection Law, is determined based on an incapacitated adult's living arrangement or situation, as outlined below:
- An adult is defined as living in an independent living situation if that person lives in their own home or apartment, the home or apartment of friends or relatives, a boarding home, or there is no fixed address. For these situations, the report should be made to the local Bureau of Elderly & Adult Services District Office.
- The Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is responsible to receive initial reports involving incapacitated adults who are residents of nursing facilities or assisted living facilities. Use this Facility Initial Report Transmittal Form when submitting a facility report.
- A central adult protective services (APS) unit in the BEAS Central Office receives and investigates reports involving incapacitated adults who live in or are participating in homes/programs administered by or affiliated with the DHHS Bureaus of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
- The central APS unit is also responsible to receive and investigate reports involving incapacitated adults who are suspected to have been abused, neglected or exploited in their own homes by individuals paid to provide care, or while receiving care in a community, general or specialized hospital, rehabilitation center or other treatment center.
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