Adult Protection Services

What is the Adult Protection Act?

The Adult Protection Act is a law that tells us what to do if there is an adult who is at risk of abuse and/or neglect when she/he does not understand or appreciate that risk.

This Act applies to all adults in Newfoundland and Labrador regardless of where they live. For example: in his/her own home or apartment, personal care home, alternate family care home or long term care facility.

Staff at Western Health are required to respond to all reports of an adult who may be in need of protection.

How is an Adult in need of protective intervention defined?

An adult in need of protective intervention is defined as an adult who does not have the ability to understand risk and:

(1) is incapable of caring for himself/herself or refuses, delays, or is unable to make a plan for adequate care and attention for himself/herself; or

(2) is abused or neglected.

An Adult in need of protective intervention is an adult who lacks capacity or does not understand risk. What does that mean?

An adult with capacity is able to understand information and decisions concerning his/her health care, physical, emotional, psychological, financial, legal, residential or social needs and is able to appreciate the reasonable foreseeable consequences of a decision or the lack of a decision. Capacity refers to an adult's ability to make a specific decision at a specific time.

All adults are presumed to have full capacity unless proven otherwise. Capacity can be affected by temporary factors such as; acute medical issues, mental health issues, etc.

Is it required by law to report if I have a concern about an adult?

Yes. Any person who reasonably believes that an adult does not understand the risk and is being neglected, abused or self-neglecting must report this right away to a social worker or police officer.

Who do I call if I have concerns about an adult?

There is a province wide toll free number, 1 (855) 376-4957 to report concerns of an adult's situation or you can call Western Health at 637-2280, 24 hours a day.   For more information contact the Social Work Consultant with the Community Support Program at 637-2280.

Adult Protection Act