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Older Adults Protective Services Act

The Older Adults Protective Services Act is the law that mandates that older adults who lack the capacity to protect themselves and are at imminent risk of being abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned must have access to and be provided with services necessary to protect their health, safety and welfare.  These protective services must safeguard the rights of older adults while protecting them from abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment.

The Department of Aging is responsible for the administration and oversight of statewide protective service programs.  In 1996, the law was amended to include criminal history background checks for facility applicants and employees, which mandates and requires specific types of facilities to submit applications with criminal history record information.  Another Amendment included Mandatory Abuse Reporting, which requires any employee or administrator of a facility who has reasonable cause to suspect that a recipient is being abused to immediately make an oral report to the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA).  If the suspected abuse is sexual abuse, serious physical injury, serious bodily injury, or suspicious death as defined by OAPSA, facility employees are required to also report the abuse to the Department of Aging, the facility’s licensing agency, local law enforcement, and if the death is suspicious to the coroner.


60 years and older.

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PA Department of Aging
Bureau for Advocacy, Protection and Education
Consumer Protection Division
555 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone: (717) 738-8975
Fax: (717) 772-2668