Arizona—long known as a retiree destination—may also create more potential targets for elder abuse and financial exploitation of seniors. In fact, according to a Mesa, Arizona governmental website, between 1.5 and 1.84 million Americans are victims of elder abuse each year. In Maricopa County alone, Arizona Adult Protective Services handles as many as 10,000 cases of elder abuse and exploitation each year. More than 200 people move to Maricopa County each day to escape the brutal winters in their home states. Many of these people are retired seniors and as such, they are potential victims of neglect and elder abuse in Arizona.
ELDER ABUSE OCCURS MORE OFTEN THAN REPORTED
Elder abuse has occurred for centuries but failed to receive national attention until the early 1980s. The Select Committee on Aging held hearings in 1981 where first-hand testimony from victimized elders were heard. The conclusion by the Committee was that elder abuse was a full-scale national problem, existing with a frequency few could imagine.
One of the problems associated with elder abuse is the fact that it is rarely reported. As few as one in 14 incidents of elder abuse are reported to authorities. There are several reasons why elder abuse is underreported, with the primary reason being fear and shame on the part of the elderly. There may be a fear of:
- Being institutionalized and separated from family
- Not being believed
- The criminal justice system in general
ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT PREVENTION REQUIRES VIGILANCE
In “retirement” states like Arizona, children and parents must be vigilant about looking out for elder abuse and neglect. If your loved one has suffered from elder abuse, help them seek justice, and report the perpetrator. The five different types of elder abuse recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include:
- Physical Elder Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Psychological or Emotional Abuse
- Elder Neglect
- Financial Exploitation
ADVOCACY UNDER ELDER ABUSE LAWS IN ARIZONA
Perhaps the most significant recent action taken to protect the elderly is the Elder Abuse Prevention and Protection Act, signed into law in 2017. However, a law or statute cannot protect seniors on its own. Abused elderly individuals need advocates to seek justice under the law. It is also important that family members ask appropriate questions and that seniors feel empowered to ask questions of trusted professionals. If you are witnessing signs of elder abuse, contact our office to speak with an attorney. We can help understand your best legal options.
CONTACT OUR PHOENIX ELDER ABUSE LAWYERS TODAY
The lawyers at Miller Kory Rowe LLP, have spent decades fighting for the rights of nursing home residents and elderly loved ones. We can help you hold negligent institutions and caregivers responsible for the harm they have caused. If you believe that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or elder abuse in Arizona, schedule a free consultation with our firm today.
Contact us today at (602) 648-4045 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. With offices in Tucson and Phoenix, our firm is uniquely positioned to serve clients across the state of Arizona. Call us today!