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North Dakota Century Code Title 50. Public Welfare § 50-25.2-01. Definitions

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As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. “Abuse” means any willful act or omission of a caregiver or any other person which results in physical injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, sexual abuse or exploitation, or financial exploitation to or of a vulnerable adult.

2. “Adult” includes a minor emancipated by marriage.

3. “Adult protective services” means remedial, social, legal, health, mental health, and referral services provided for the prevention, correction, or discontinuance of abuse or neglect which are necessary and appropriate under the circumstances to protect an abused or neglected vulnerable adult, ensure that the least restrictive alternative is provided, prevent further abuse or neglect, and promote self-care and independent living.  The term includes the following services provided by the department or the department's designee:

a. Receiving, evaluating, and assessing reports of alleged abuse or neglect;

b. Arranging for and coordinating the provision of essential services;

c. Providing case management and counseling for the purposes of planning and providing social and other services needed by vulnerable adults;

d. Arranging for and coordinating the provision of other services, including financial management or assistance, legal assistance, and the services of domestic violence programs;

e. Monitoring the delivery of services to vulnerable adults and making progress assessments;  and

f. Arranging for or providing, and coordinating, other services consistent with this chapter.

4. “Caregiver” means any person who has assumed the legal responsibility or a contractual obligation for the care of a vulnerable adult or has voluntarily assumed responsibility for the care of a vulnerable adult.  The term includes a facility operated by any public or private agency, organization, or institution which provides services to, and has assumed responsibility for the care of, a vulnerable adult.

5. “Department” means the department of human services.

6. “Essential services” means those services necessary to maintain and safeguard the physical and mental health of a vulnerable adult which include sufficient and appropriate food and clothing, temperate and sanitary shelter, treatment for mental or physical needs, appropriate treatment for medical needs as determined by a physician or other health care provider, and proper supervision.

7. “Financial exploitation” means use or receipt of services provided by the vulnerable adult without just compensation, the taking, acceptance, misappropriation, or misuse of property or resources of a vulnerable adult by means of undue influence, breach of a fiduciary relationship, deception, harassment, criminal coercion, theft, or other unlawful or improper means.

8. “Least restrictive alternative” means adult protective services provided in a manner no more restrictive of a vulnerable adult's liberty and no more intrusive than necessary to achieve and ensure the provision of essential services.

9. “Living independently” includes using the telephone, shopping, preparing food, housekeeping, and administering medications.

10. “Mental anguish” means psychological or emotional damage that requires medical treatment or care or is characterized by behavioral change or physical symptoms.

11. “Neglect” means the failure of a caregiver to provide essential services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of a vulnerable adult, or the inability or lack of desire of the vulnerable adult to provide essential services necessary to maintain and safeguard the vulnerable adult's own physical and mental health.

12. “Physical injury” means damage to bodily tissue caused by nontherapeutic conduct, which includes fractures, bruises, lacerations, internal injuries, dislocations, physical pain, illness, or impairment of physical function.

13. “Self-care” includes maintaining personal hygiene, eating, and dressing.

14. “Sexual abuse or exploitation” includes those sex offenses defined in sections 12.1-20-02, 12.1-20-03, 12.1-20-04, 12.1-20-05, 12.1-20-06, 12.1-20-07, and 12.1-20-11.

15. “Substantial functional impairment” means a substantial incapability, because of physical limitations, of living independently or providing self-care as determined through observation, diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.

16. “Substantial mental impairment” means a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behavior, or ability to live independently or provide self-care as revealed by observation, diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.

17. “Vulnerable adult” means an adult who has a substantial mental or functional impairment.

18. “Willfully” means willfully as defined in section 12.1-02-02.

Cite this article: - North Dakota Century Code Title 50. Public Welfare § 50-25.2-01. Definitions - last updated January 01, 2020 |

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