Elder Abuse Attorney in Chandler

The alarming increase in elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, especially in senior care environments, has surged by nearly 150% over the past decade, with millions of older Americans affected each year. This abuse takes various forms, including physical, psychological, and financial harm. Arizona's elder law enables abused elders and their families to seek compensation for the damage inflicted. Attorneys play a crucial role in protecting the rights of elder abuse victims and assisting them in seeking justice.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse in Arizona, you need to speak with an experienced attorney to provide you with legal guidance. Attorney Peter Williams has 20+ years of experience in litigation for families. Contact us today and schedule a consultation to learn how we can help your loved ones and ensure their rights are protected.

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What Common Examples of Elder Abuse in Arizona?

Elder abuse can emerge from various situations like past family violence, changes in lifestyle, or stress from new living environments. When caregivers experience personal problems, such as stress, mental health issues, substance addiction, or unemployment, it can also lead to elder abuse. Often, society undervalues older people, leading to a lack of respect and support for them. This attitude and the belief that home issues are private allow elder abuse to continue unnoticed. Recognizing these factors is critical to tackling elder abuse and ensuring older adults' safety and dignity.

According to the American Psychological Association, Elder abuse can emerge in several different ways, such as the following:

  1. Physical abuse: This type extends from minor violence like pushing or shoving to extreme cases involving severe beatings or restraints. The inappropriate use of force, which causes unnecessary pain or harm, even under the impression of helping, can be classified as physical abuse. Actions like hitting, pushing, burning, biting, or the inappropriate use of medications or physical punishments, all fall under this category.

  1. Verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse: This encompasses behaviors such as yelling, swearing, threatening, insulting or continuous disregard for the elderly. It involves any coercive or threatening behavior that establishes a power imbalance between the elder and the caregiver or family member. Acts like infantilizing the elder, or isolating them from their social circles and regular activities, also fall into this category.

  1. Sexual abuse: This form covers unwarranted sexual behaviors such as inappropriate touching, photographing the elder in suggestive ways, and forcing them to view explicit material, among other sexualized conduct.

  1. Financial abuse and exploitation: This kind of abuse ranges from misusing an elder's funds to outright embezzlement. It could involve forging checks, illicitly claiming retirement or Social Security benefits, unauthorized use of credit cards or bank accounts, or making unpermitted changes to a will, bank account, life insurance policy, or property title.

  1. Caregiver neglect: This form of abuse can be intentional or unintentional and involves the deliberate failure to meet the older person's physical, social, or emotional needs. Examples of neglect include not providing food, water, clothing, medications, assistance with daily living activities, or help with personal hygiene.

Understanding the extent of elder abuse is essential to addressing the issue effectively and supporting our older population's well-being. Recognizing the signs can be the first step to intervene and ensure their safety.

Elder Abuse Signs to Watch Out For in Arizona

It's important not to dismiss signs of abuse due to an elderly person's medical conditions. Instead, a comprehensive investigation should be prompted to identify and tackle the root cause. 

The following signs that do not coincide with known medical conditions or medication side effects may be signs of elder abuse:

  • Unjustified physical injuries: Elderly individuals with inexplicable bruises, burns, lacerations, or scars may be victims of physical abuse.

  • Neglect of personal hygiene and sustenance: Elderly people who don't receive adequate care may have poor hygiene, lack clean and appropriate attire, or have insufficient food and water.

  • Absence of necessary medical aids: If an elder is found without essential medical aids like glasses, walking aids, dentures, hearing aids, or necessary medications, it could indicate neglect by their caregivers.

  • Health deterioration: Physical signs like sunken eyes or unexplained weight loss are often signs of malnourishment or serious health issues and should be cause for concern.

  • Unattended bedsores: Bedsores, especially when untreated, could indicate that an elderly person is being neglected and is not receiving the necessary care and attention.

  • Dismissive attitudes regarding injuries: If the elderly individual or their caregiver shows a carefree attitude or makes dismissive comments about injuries, it could be a sign of abuse.

  • Excessive fear or suspicion: Unusually fearful or suspicious behavior could indicate psychological or emotional abuse.

  • Social isolation: A noticeable lack of interest in social activities or interaction can be a symptom of emotional abuse or neglect.

  • Unexplained behavioral changes: Sudden or uncharacteristic changes in an elder's behavior might result from abuse or neglect.

  • Signs of sexual abuse: Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding or sexually transmitted diseases, or vaginal infections in elderly individuals should raise immediate alarm bells as potential signs of sexual abuse.

  • Financial irregularities: If there are signs of inadequate care or unpaid bills despite the elderly having sufficient financial resources, or if there are large unexplained withdrawals from their bank accounts or unusual banking activity, this could point to financial exploitation.

This abuse could be physical, emotional, financial, or even sexual, with each form presenting unique symptoms. The abuse often goes unnoticed due to its private nature or the elder's inability or reluctance to report it, making it essential for friends, family, and healthcare providers to stay alert. Even if these signs don't point to abuse, they may indicate other serious issues, such as mental health disorders or needing better care or medical attention. 

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. The Attorneys Office's legal team is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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