Reporting of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation

JUNE 26, 1995 VOLUME 2, NUMBER 51

Arizona law makes it illegal to abuse, neglect or exploit a “vulnerable” adult. The law also imposes a duty on some professionals to report suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation.

“Abuse” includes physical or sexual abuse or involuntary confinement. “Neglect” occurs when an individual with a duty to care for another fails to discharge that duty. “Exploitation” refers to one individual taking financial advantage of another. While all of these activities are illegal regardless of the age, ability or condition of the victim, the law makes special provisions for those who injure the confused, disabled or otherwise vulnerable adult.

Many professionals who may be responsible for the financial or personal welfare of vulnerable adults are required to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation. The list of individuals required to report includes caretakers, social workers, physicians, nurses, aides, tax preparers, accountants and lawyers, and is broadly described to include a myriad of others as well.

When abuse or neglect is suspected, reports must be made to the police department, sheriff’s office or Adult Protective Service. Financial exploitation may be reported instead to the Public Fiduciary. The report must be made immediately, followed by a written report within two days. Failure to report is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to $1,000 in fines, sixty days in jail and a year’s probation.

[Next Issue: What happens when you file a report?]

Economists Plan to Entice Retirees to Arizona

Business and political leaders are hoping to increase Arizona’s share of the growing American retiree community. The Governor’s Strategic Partnership for Economic Development hopes to develop ways to lure retirees to move to Arizona in the future.

Behind the council’s planning is the economic reality that retirees, at least affluent retirees, can provide jobs and economic growth. One concern for economists is at attracting retirees to Arizona might also increase the number of ill and dependent citizens.

Significant increases in the number of retirees might also have political implications. Planners note that there might implications for bond and other elections, among other changes.

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