The following words and terms, when used in this Subchapter shall have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
"Abandonment" means the withdrawal of support or the act of deserting a vulnerable adult by a caretaker or other person responsible for the vulnerable adult's care.
"Abuse" means causing or permitting the:
(A) infliction of physical pain, injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, unreasonable restraint or confinement, mental anguish, personal degradation; or
(B) deprivation of nutrition, clothing, shelter, health care, or other care or services without which serious physical or mental injury is likely to occur to a vulnerable adult by a caretaker or other person providing services to a vulnerable adult.
"Activities of daily living (ADLs)" means basic self-care activities such as toileting, transferring, feeding, bathing, and dressing.
"Adult" means a person 18 years of age and older.
"Alleged victim" means a vulnerable adult who is suspected of being a victim of maltreatment or in need of services that are necessary to aid the individual to meet essential requirements for mental or physical health and safety.
"APS" means Adult Protective Services.
"APS specialist" means an Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) worker who successfully completed the Adult Protective Services (APS) New Worker Academy or is working under the oversight of an experienced APS specialist.
"APS specialist III" means the lead APS specialist who coaches and may be designated to act for the APS specialist IV.
"APS specialist IV" means OKDHS staff assigned or designated to act in an APS supervisory capacity.
"Caretaker" means a person who is responsible for the care of or financial management for a vulnerable adult as a result of family relationship or has assumed responsibility for care of a vulnerable adult voluntarily, by contract, or by friendship; or who serves as a legally appointed guardian, limited guardian, or conservator.
"Client" means a vulnerable adult in need of services.
"Conclusion" means a brief summary of the case including presenting issue, risk, need, and resolution that is completed in cases of self-neglect for which investigatory findings are not required to be sent to the district attorney. The conclusion is specific enough to distinguish the case, but does not reiterate the case record.
"Emergency" means a situation in which a vulnerable adult is likely to suffer death or serious physical harm without immediate intervention.
"Evidence" means all documentation, photographs, interviews, observations, objects, and other information collected, observed, or otherwise obtained during the course of an investigation.
"Executive function" means the brain's ability to absorb information, interpret this information, and make decisions based upon this information.
"Exploitation" means unjust or improper use of the person or resources of a vulnerable adult for the profit or advantage of another person through undue influence, coercion, harassment, duress, deception, false representation, or false pretense.
"Financial neglect" means repeated instances by a caretaker or other person who has assumed the role of financial management of failure to use the resources available to restore or maintain the health and physical well-being of a vulnerable adult, including but not limited to:
(A) squandering or negligently mismanaging the money, property, or accounts of a vulnerable adult;
(B) refusing to pay for necessities or utilities in a timely manner; or
(C) providing substandard care to a vulnerable adult despite the availability of adequate financial resources.
"Finding" means substantiation, unsubstantiation, or an inconclusive finding of an allegation following an investigation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that is sent to local district attorney for a decision whether to prosecute.
"Guardian" means one of the types of guardianship specified in the Oklahoma Guardianship and Conservatorship Act, Title 30 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
(A) General guardian. A general guardian is a person appointed by the court to serve as the guardian of an incapacitated person to ensure that the essential requirements for the health and safety of the person are met, to manage the estate of the person, or both.
(B) Limited guardian. A limited guardian is a person appointed by the court to serve as the guardian of a partially incapacitated person and is authorized by the court to exercise only certain powers of a guardian over the person, or estate or financial resources of the person, or both.
(C) Special guardian. A special guardian is a person appointed by the court to exercise certain specified powers to alleviate a situation in which there is a threat of serious impairment to the health or safety of an incapacitated or partially incapacitated person, or a situation in which the financial resources of the person will be seriously damaged or dissipated unless immediate action is taken.
"Incapacitated adult" means a vulnerable adult whose ability to receive and evaluate information effectively or to make and to communicate responsible decisions is impaired to such an extent that the person lacks the capacity to manage his or her financial resources or to meet essential requirements for the person's mental or physical health or safety without assistance.
"Inconclusive" means there is insufficient information to either support or not support the allegation of maltreatment, but there is a reason to suspect maltreatment.
"Indecent exposure" means forcing or requiring a vulnerable adult to:
(A) look upon the body or private parts of another person or upon sexual acts performed in the presence of the vulnerable adult; or
(B) touch or feel the body or private parts of another person.
"Information and Referral (I & R)" means a referral that is referred to an appropriate responder because it does not contain an alleged vulnerable adult and at least one allegation of maltreatment, or a more appropriate responder is better suited to meet the client’s needs and provide services.
"Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs)" means abilities necessary for an adult to function independently in the community, such as preparing meals, using the phone, driving or arranging for transportation, shopping, and handling finances.
"Investigation" means a prompt and thorough fact-finding to determine if a vulnerable adult is the victim of maltreatment.
"Mandatory reporter" means any person who has reasonable cause to believe someone is suffering from abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
"Maltreatment" means abuse, neglect, self-neglect, financial exploitation, sexual exploitation, financial neglect, abandonment, or verbal abuse.
"Near death" means the vulnerable adult is in serious or critical condition, as certified by a physician, as a result of abuse or neglect.
(A) failure to provide protection for a vulnerable adult who is unable to protect his or her own interest;
(B) failure to provide adequate shelter, nutrition, health care, or clothing for a vulnerable adult; or
(C) negligent acts or omissions that result in harm or unreasonable risk of harm to a vulnerable adult, or lack of supervision by a caretaker providing direct services.
"Next of kin" means the closest living relative by blood or marriage and includes any relative active in care or service planning.
"Personal degradation" means a willful act by a caretaker intended to shame, degrade, humiliate, or otherwise harm the personal dignity of a vulnerable adult, or where the caretaker knew or reasonably should have known the act would cause shame, degradation, humiliation, or harm to the personal dignity of a reasonable person. Personal degradation includes the taking, transmitting, or display of an electronic image of a vulnerable adult by a caretaker, where the caretaker's actions constitute a willful act intended to shame, degrade, humiliate, or otherwise harm the personal dignity of the dependent adult, or where the caretaker knew or reasonably should have known the act would cause shame, degradation, humiliation, or harm to the personal dignity of a reasonable person. Personal degradation does not include, the taking, transmission, or display of an electronic image of a vulnerable adult:
(A) for the purpose of reporting vulnerable adult abuse to law enforcement, Oklahoma Human Services, or other regulatory agency that oversees caretakers or enforces abuse or neglect laws or rules;
(B) for the purpose of treatment or diagnosis; or
(C) as part of an ongoing investigation.
"Power of attorney" means authority granted by a legal document authorizing a person or other entity to act for the principal, subject to the extent of the power authorized. The affidavit may be durable. When it is durable, the power of attorney becomes effective when the principal loses decision making abilities as defined by the document and instructions of the principal. The power is revoked upon:
(A) written revocation of the principal;
(B) incapacity of the principal unless it is a durable power of attorney;
(C) death of the principal;
(D) a termination date if specified in the document;
(E) order of the court; or
(F) the appointment of a guardian, in most cases.
"Referral" means any allegation of maltreatment received by APS.
"Report" means a referral that is assigned for investigation. • 1
"Response type" means the assignment of an APS referral for investigation, service case, or information and referral.
"Self-neglect" means neglect brought about by a vulnerable adult's own actions or inactions that causes the vulnerable adult to fail to meet the essential requirements for physical or mental health and safety due to the vulnerable adult's lack of awareness, incompetence, or incapacity.
"Service Case" means a referral is assigned for prompt and thorough determination of risk, needs, a capacity decision, and service planning.
"Services that are necessary to aid an individual to meet essential requirements for mental or physical health and safety" means services that include, but are not limited to, the:
(A) identification of adults in need of protective services;
(B) provision of medical care for physical or mental health needs; or
(C) provision of assistance in personal hygiene, food, clothing, adequately heated and ventilated shelter, protection from health and safety hazards, protection from physical maltreatment, guardianship referral, outreach, and transportation necessary to secure any of such needs. This excludes taking the adult into physical custody without the adult's consent except through proper procedures for the provision of involuntary services.
"Sexual abuse" means:
(A) oral, anal, or vaginal penetration of a vulnerable adult by, or through the union with, the sexual organ of a caretaker or other person providing services to the vulnerable adult, or the anal or vaginal penetration of a vulnerable adult with any other object by a caretaker or other person providing services to the vulnerable adult;
(B) for the purpose of sexual gratification, the touching, feeling, or observation of the body or private parts of a vulnerable adult by a caretaker or other person providing services to the vulnerable adult; or
(C) indecent exposure by a caretaker or other person providing services to the vulnerable adult.
"Sexual exploitation" means and includes, but is not limited to, a caretaker causing, allowing, permitting, or encouraging a vulnerable adult to engage in prostitution or in lewd, obscene, or pornographic photographing, filming, or depiction of the vulnerable adult as those acts are defined by Oklahoma law.
"Substantiated" means the greater weight of the evidence collected during an APS investigation determines that maltreatment occurred and the alleged victim meets the definition of a vulnerable adult.
"Temporary guardian" means a person or other entity appointed by the court under Title 43A of the Oklahoma Statutes with authority only to consent on behalf of an incapacitated adult to the provision of protective services determined necessary to remove conditions creating an emergency need and other services approved by the court. A temporary guardian serves in that capacity only until the guardianship is dismissed by the appointing court.
"Undue influence" means the substitution of one person's will for the true desires of another.
"Unsubstantiated" means evidence found during an APS investigation was insufficient to show that more likely than not maltreatment occurred.
"Verbal abuse" means the use of words, sounds, or other communication including, but not limited to, gestures, actions, or behaviors, by a caretaker or other person providing services to a vulnerable adult that are likely to cause a reasonable person to experience humiliation, intimidation, fear, shame, or degradation.
"Vulnerable adult" means an adult who, because of physical or mental disability or other impairment, may be subject to maltreatment and is substantially impaired in his or her ability to independently:
(A) provide adequately for his or her own care or custody;
(B) manage his or her property and financial affairs effectively;
(C) meet essential requirements for mental or physical health or safety; or
(D) protect himself or herself from maltreatment without assistance. This determination is not made based on a person's eligibility for disability benefits from any source or on the impairment being permanent, but solely on the adult's reported physical or mental condition at the time an APS referral is received and the APS specialist's assessment of that condition is made during service planning or investigation.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:5-1-6
1. Reports of alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult require a prompt and thorough investigation.
(1) Screen Out: The Review, Evaluate, and Decide (RED) Unit specialist or designee determines no additional action is needed from Adult Protective Services (APS). For example, the vulnerable adult is deceased and there are no allegations that maltreatment contributed to the death or the vulnerable adult’s name is unknown, there is no address, finding directions, or phone number and the reporter cannot be contacted for additional information.
(2) Information and Referral: The RED Unit specialist or designee determines the alleged victim is not a vulnerable adult, or the vulnerable adult's risks can be addressed through Information and Referral (I & R) to a more appropriate responder. For example, when the vulnerable adult's primary vulnerability is mental illness or substance use or abuse dependency, the Red Unit specialist or designee must determine if other issues exist within APS jurisdiction. When no other issues exist, the case is assigned as an I & R and the Red Unit specialist or designee directs the vulnerable adult or reporter to the nearest Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services contract facility for outpatient service.
(3) Service Case: When the RED Unit specialist or designee determines from the intake information that the alleged victim is a vulnerable adult and the only allegation is self-neglect, the referral is assigned as a Service Case for prompt and thorough determination of risk, needs, a capacity decision, and service planning. When it is determined that temporary guardianship is needed, the Service Case will be elevated to an Investigation.
(4) Investigation: The RED Unit specialist or designee determines the allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult requires a prompt and thorough assessment, investigation, and service planning.
(5) Guardianship: If it is determined that temporary guardianship is needed, the investigation will be elevated to guardianship.