In 2012, Arizona Adult Protective Services received more than 6,500 reports of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation in the state.
Unfortunately, studies suggest that only 1 out of every 14 to 24 cases of elder abuse are even reported, which means it’s possible that many more thousands of seniors were abused in Arizona last year.
No matter what the figures, it’s clear that elder abuse is a devastating trend that can result in serious injury or death of loved ones. If you or someone you know has experienced elder abuse, it’s important to understand your rights and what you may be entitled to.
Recognizing Elder Abuse
Because they are so underreported, cases of elder abuse often go unnoticed for long periods of time. Many times, elder abuse victims are vulnerable and unable to properly express what is happening to them.
For families and caretakers, it’s important to look for signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation that may occur in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Signs to look for include:
- Physical cuts, sores, bruises or other injuries
- Significant changes in behavior or affect
- Unsafe or unhealthy living conditions
- Incorrect or inappropriate medication or medical treatment
- Staff members not adequately caring for residents
All of these signs, from bed sores to emotional changes, may indicate elder abuse, and it’s important that action is taken to remove elders from any living situation that appears to be unsafe or unhealthy.
Reporting Elder Abuse
In Arizona, the Attorney General’s Office helps manage elder abuse in the state and makes sure that it is properly reported.
Obviously, immediate emergencies should be reported by calling 911. In other cases of elder abuse, reports can be made to the Adult Protective Services Abuse hotline, which is:
(877) SOS-ADULT or (877) 767-2385
Reports can also be made by visiting www.azdes.gov/reportadultabuse. There is also a 24-hour senior hotline provided by Area Agency on Aging, which can be reached at:
(602) 264-HELP or (602) 264-4357
When a report is made to the hotline, the caller will be asked to provide information related to the elder abuse occurrence, including:
- Name, address and other contact information
- Description of the elder abuse occurring
- Information about the victim’s condition
- Names of those who know about the potential abuse
The hotline specialists will ask additional questions if the abuse is considered neglect or exploitation. In any type of abuse, the information will be recorded, APS will conduct the proper research and will decide whether or not the report warrants an investigation.
To learn more about the reporting process, visit the Arizona Attorney General’s Office website.
Getting Legal Help with Elder Abuse
If you’ve recognized and reported elder abuse, the health and safety of the victim is of the utmost priority. But there are also legal considerations that must be made, and if you need to explore your options, JacksonWhite Law can help.
Our injury team has helped adults, minors and seniors get the compensation they deserve, with an attention to detail and legal assistance tailored to your needs.
To learn more about how we can help seniors and families who have experienced elder abuse, call our team, led by attorney Jared Everton. At JacksonWhite, we take every effort to ensure a positive, successful legal experience that puts your best interest in focus.
To receive help with settling a personal injury claim in Arizona, fill out the form below or give us call at (480) 526-4602 to start your FREE case evaluation.
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