Comprehensive Elder Abuse Resources in Arizona
It can be a very difficult situation for an adult child if they suspect abuse of their parents in an assisting living community or from a caregiver, particularly if the loved one is out of state and frequent visits are not possible. However, if there is cause for concern, there are a number of resources in Arizona that can come to the aid of the elderly parent.
On behalf of the elderly parent, make a call to the National Center on Elder Abuse’s Arizona hot line at 877-767-2385. A report can also be filed online to Adult Protective Services. The Eldercare Hot Line, 800-677-1116, has trained operators standing by to help refer a local agency to assist with the situation. Another organization that can be of assistance is the Area Agency on Aging, a nonprofit private agency that assists older Arizonans. They are chosen by the state to assist with services such as advocating for elderly adults and offering information on programs, community support and other options.
When making a call or submitting a form online, it is helpful to be armed with as much information as possible — including the basics such as the elderly person’s full name, address, contact information, and details about the nature of the call (specific incidences witnessed or information about a situation that the elderly person has shared – such as yelling, hitting or other abusive behavior). It is also important to have medical history or recent health problems (such as dementia or memory loss). The caller or person that submits the form will likely need to supply their name, address, telephone number and other contact information, as well. However, it is not required by most state agencies to share personal information in order to file the report.
Fellowship Square takes the proper care of their residents very seriously. In fact, all caregivers and staff (regardless of whether or not they work directly with residents) are required to complete annual mandatory training to help them recognize signs of abuse including verbal, mental, physical, sexual, financial and emotional as well as neglect. The company has their own abuse policy, as they work to form a partnership with the families of their residents to ensure they are seen as protectors of the elderly that move into Fellowship Square. The policy outlines proper protocol, as well as safe ways to ways to report abuse without retribution, for staff members that witness elderly abuse from other staff or even family members that visit their residents.
In the case of witnessing excessive abuse first hand resulting in serious injury of the elderly person, 911 should be called immediately. As the adult child of the elderly, speaking to a doctor, friends or other family members about the situation can be helpful for support. It is also important to let the elderly parent know that the situation is being investigated and that they are not alone. Working together with the proper organizations can ensure the elderly person gets the respectful care and treatment they deserve.