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scottsdale • phoenix
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What Is the Difference Between Elder Abuse & Elder Neglect?

The main difference between elder abuse and elder neglect is usually intent. Elder abuse is when care providers intentionally harm patients, while elder negligence results from a duty of care breach. Some elder abuse cases can become elder negligence matters, especially when management fails to remedy the abuse.

In this article, a Phoenix assisted living abuse lawyer addresses how elder abuse and neglect differ and where you can for legal advice. Knapp & Roberts wrote this post for concerned loved ones who think a family member may be experiencing abuse or neglect at an assisted living facility.

An Overview of Elder Abuse vs. Elder Neglect

Abuse and neglect are acknowledged as forms of mistreatment, but their definitions differ slightly. Below, we have outlined key signs of elder abuse and neglect while explaining how the law generally affects these situations.

Elder Neglect

Elder neglect is when a nursing home or assisted living facility fails to meet its general or medical duty of care. Assisted living facility residents face elder neglect if caregivers fail to meet standards. However, elder abuse and neglect can be deliberate, although elder neglect can be accidental or unintentional.

Examples of elder neglect include: lack of basic nutrients and water, deteriorating health conditions, unsanitary housing conditions, failing to assist during daily activities, poorly trained staff members, and more. 

Arizona law requires medical providers, staff members, and others to meet a medical or general duty of care or both. These duty of care standards consider how a reasonable person would have acted in the same situation, even down to the hiring standards of nursing home employees under ARS Section 36-411.

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is the purposeful and intentional infliction of physical, emotional, or sexual harm to an older adult. Financial abuse is also a common occurrence where someone uses the older adults finances or assets for personal gain. Loved ones may be slow to recognize the indicators of elder abuse, especially if their family member has a condition affecting their communication ability.

Signs of elder abuse may include: unexplained bruises, scars or cuts, clothing that is torn or cut, hostile and intimidating caregiver conduct, unexplained weight loss or dehydrations, social isolation from other residents. 

  1. Unexplained bruises, scars, or cuts
  2. Clothing that is torn or cut
  3. Hostile, intimidating caregiver conduct
  4. Unexplained weight loss or dehydration
  5. Social isolation from other residents

It is also worth noting that elder abuse with intent to harm is a crime. You may also have to press charges against the person or people responsible.

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Do You Suspect Elder Abuse or Negligent?

A suspected case of elder abuse or elder neglect is challenging to navigate alone. Arizona law protects your family member’s right to live with respect and in a safe facility, free from mistreatment. If you worry about your loved one’s wellbeing, do not hesitate to contact a Phoenix assisted living abuse lawyer as soon as you possible can to protect your family member and determine how to hold the provider accountable.

Get Legal Advice From Knapp & Roberts

If you think a nursing home or assisted living facility is abusing or neglecting your loved one, contact the Phoenix elder abuse lawyers Knapp & Roberts for a Free Consultation at 480.991.7677 or by messaging us online. There are no attorneys’ fees until our law firm wins your case.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.