Need To File a Nursing Home Abuse Complaint In Arizona?
The How, What, and Why of Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Complaint In Arizona
If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse in Arizona, or if you have concern for your own well-being in an elder abuse situation, you may be unsure how to proceed. In addition to knowing how to protect yourself and your loved ones, you should know how and where to file a nursing home complaint when abuse is suspected.
The injury attorneys at Thompson Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who have experienced nursing home abuse, including developing bedsores. Our offices are conveniently located in Chandler, Peoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or video call.
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Fortunately, Arizona recognizes the seriousness of elder abuse and many resources are available to help you. This guide provides practical information and actionable steps to help you navigate Arizona law and to help you file your nursing home complaint.
Emergency Contact Information For Suspected Nursing Home Abuse
If this is an emergency and you or a loved one are in harm’s way, call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.
In any situation in which an individual is in immediate danger or faces a threat against their person or property, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement. They can provide safety and connect you with the appropriate channels to seek recovery.
Adult Protective Services (APS) of Arizona
Hours: M-F 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sat. Sun. 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or File a Complaint Online (Available 24/7)
Adult Protective Services of Arizona is a state organization operated by the Arizona Department of Economic Security and the Division of Aging and Adult Services. The APS is “responsible for investigating allegations of abuse, exploitation, and neglect of vulnerable adults.”
When reporting a nursing home abuse complaint, you will be asked pertinent information such as:
• the date and type of abuse sustained;
• the names of any witnesses;
• the name of the perpetrator.
To the extent possible, all information is confidential. Anonymous complaints can be made, but the investigation will be more conclusive when you are listed in the nursing home abuse complaint. Once a complaint is filed, and once it is confirmed that the claim meets the requirement of constituting “abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult,” APS will investigate the adult’s situation and make recommendations to maximize the adult’s safety and self determination in the existing circumstances.
If the nursing home complaint is found to be true, the perpetrator will be listed in the APS registry.
The APS Registry
APS maintains a comprehensive registry of individuals who have been found guilty of abuse, neglect, or exploitation by a court or administrative law judge. Individuals remain on the registry for 10 years, making it easy for Arizona citizens to search caregiver’s names prior to entering into an agreement with a care facility or elder care provider.
Arizona Department of Health Services
Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or File a Complaint Online (Available 24/7)
The Arizona Department of Health Services, through the Division of Licensing Services Bureau of Long-Term Care Licensing, handles the licensing of care facilities and medical providers in Arizona. You can use their online reporting system to quickly and easily file a complaint against a nursing home, hospice agency, home health agency, assisted living center, adult foster care home, or other medical facility.
The ADHS investigates nursing home abuse complaints against licensed and unlicensed facilities “related to the quality of life and quality of care, including residents’ rights, abuse, neglect, dietary problems, staffing, and environmental concerns.” When you file a nursing home abuse complaint, you need to provide details about the date and circumstances of the abuse in question, including the address of the facility.
During the investigation, the surveyor assigned to the complaint may review care facility records, conduct interviews with staff and residents, and observe care.
Reports to the ADHS are confidential. The name of the complainant will not be released to the care facility being investigated. Once the investigation is complete, the complainant and the care facility will individually be notified of the results.
The ADHS Directory
The ADHS also maintains a searchable directory of deficient care facilities. The database is useful for those considering a care facility to ensure that the facility does not have complaints against them, and for complainants checking to see if similar complaints have been filed.
It is important to note that nursing home abuse complaints to both Adult Protective Services and the Arizona Department of Health Services agencies may be made anonymously, however, investigations will generally be more fruitful in cases where direct contact can be made with the parties involved.
Office of Arizona Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
According to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, the LongTerm Care Ombudsman program resulted from an intention of the federal and state government to protect vulnerable seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities. The program is designed to help those who cannot help themselves to investigate and resolve resident nursing home abuse complaints against caregivers and care facilities.
Essentially, an ombudsman is a confidential advocate for the elderly resident. When you contact the Arizona State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, they will connect you with the ombudsman representative in your local region.
If you are a long-term care resident in need of advocacy, you may also visit the DES online for a listing of local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs. The DES website also provides legal services assistance and additional elder and adult care resources.
Area Agency on Aging
Maricopa County: (602) 264-2255
The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in Arizona is a local program that advocates for older adults and offers information, options, and community support for seniors. The AAA can be contacted by region. You can find a complete listing of regions and phone numbers at Arizona Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
The Area Agency on Aging can help to “advocate, plan, coordinate, develop and deliver services for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and their families and caregivers.” A representative can help you direct your concerns and complaints.
Arizona Attorney General
(844) 894-4735 (toll free)
(602) 542-7918 (español)
The Office of the Attorney General offers specific resources for seniors, along with its roll in assisting citizens of Arizona in finding the appropriate resources for social issues and public concerns.. The Attorney General maintains an advisory board called the Task Force Against Senior Abuse (TASA) “dedicated to the protection of Arizona’s seniors.”
The website of the Arizona Attorney General offers extensive resources for seniors and allows for the filing of complaints pertaining to consumer fraud, Medicaid fraud, and civil rights violations. The office also focuses on education and outreach, providing effective tools and information for seniors to arm themselves against abuse and popular scams.
Contact a Respected Arizona Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Elder neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or financial exploitation can leave the victim and their family members feeling helpless and hurt. You may wish to seek the caring and legal expertise of a qualified Arizona nursing home abuse attorney. A nursing home abuse attorney can:
• help you understand what you may be entitled to
• provide additional resources
• secure a nursing home settlement in your case
Contact us today for a free consultation at 480-613-3660.
You Are Not Alone
Senior exploitation is a serious problem in our society. If you have been affected by it, you know how devastating nursing home abuse can be. For more information, please familiarize yourself with the facts of elder and nursing home abuse to recognize the warning signs of abuse and protect yourself and your loved ones. If the abuse has already occurred, we encourage you to seek help from any of the organizations listed here. Abused elders and their loved ones do not have to struggle alone – we are here for you.