1) What defines elder abuse?
The National Center for Elder Abuse defines elder abuse as “any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.” This abuse can result in six main categories: neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and abandonment.
2) What do the state laws in Arizona say regarding elder abuse?
Arizona state law constitutes elder abuse in three main areas: abuse, neglect and exploitation. Abuse can be any injury resulting from negligent acts, any intentional cause of physical harm and any type of sexual assault. Neglect is any type of continued behavior without that person or that person’s power of attorney that results in them lacking water, food, medication, shelter and any other services essential to maintain both minimum physical and mental health. Arizona state laws define exploitation as any dishonest or unlawful use of a debilitated adult and their resources.
3) Who is affected by elder abuse?
Elders of either gender and of all races, social classes and backgrounds are affected by this hideous situation. A victim of elder abuse can be a parent/grandparent, a relative or a friend. You may not be aware this type of abuse is occurring because only one in ten cases of elder abuse is actually ever reported.
4) What consequences does a person committing elder abuse face?
The alleged person will face criminal charges and if that person is found guilty of these charges, as of July 1, 2007, they will have their name forwarded to a public registry for ten years. This was imposed as an additional deterrent for anyone who abuses the elderly.