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Protection of Vulnerable Adults

Suspect a loved one is a vulnerable adult and susceptible to abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation? Call our Phoenix Litigation Attorneys at
(602) 900-9860.

At Thies & Lihn, PLLC, we are committed to protecting vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, which is a goal we routinely accomplish through effective legal representation. A vulnerable adult is someone who is 18 years of age or older and unable to protect himself or herself from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by others because of a physical or mental impairment. In the United States, the population continues to grow as Baby Boomers age. According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, nearly 2 million senior citizens are subject to abuse each year, nationwide, but only 1 in every 5 cases is reported.

Statistics from The Arizona Adult Protection Services shows that nearly 10,000 cases of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation are reported per year in Maricopa County alone. This makes it clear: Elder abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation happens far too often. You have options to prevent or remedy elder abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation. Our attorneys at Thies & Lihn, PLLC are here to help vulnerable adults and their families by setting up effective protections, which may include guardianships, conservatorships, orders of protection, and taking legal action against abusers.

What is Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation?

  • Before understanding what remedies are available, you should understand what abuse, neglect, and exploitation mean. The law defines abuse to mean any of the following: (a) Intentional infliction of physical harm; (b) Injury caused by negligent acts or omissions; (c) Unreasonable confinement; or (d) Sexual abuse or sexual assault.
  • The law defines neglect to mean a pattern of conduct without the person's informed consent resulting in deprivation of food, water, medication, medical services, shelter, cooling, heating or other services necessary to maintain minimum physical or mental health.
  • The law defines exploitation to mean illegal or improper use of a vulnerable adult or their resources for another's profit or advantage.

What Does Elder Abuse Involve?

Common characteristics of vulnerable adults include:

  • Two-thirds of victims are female
  • The victim has one or more physical, cognitive, and/or mental impairments
  • Many victims are often widowed, divorced, and socially isolated
  • Many victims lives with his or her abuser

The abuser may have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • The abuser often seeks control and isolation of the vulnerable adult
  • Research shows 90% of abusers are known to the victim
  • More than two-thirds are blood relatives
  • The abuser may be addicted to drugs
  • The abuser may be unprepared for the responsibility or stress of caring for an elderly relative
  • The abuser may be financially dependent on the victim

What Can I Do to Protect My Vulnerable Loved One and What are the Remedies?

Contact us at Thies & Lihn, PLLC for legal representation. We will work to prevent you or your loved one from falling victim to further abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation and fight to recover compensation from the abuser, seek to have the abused added to the adult protective services registry, and other remedies allowed by Arizona law. In addition, many situations involving abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation of a vulnerable adult require setting up a guardianship, conservatorship, or long-term care plan. Please call us to speak to one of our attorneys to discuss what rights and remedies you have in assisting yourself or your loved ones.

We offer free, no-obligation consultations! Call us at (602) 900-9860 today to set up a case evaluation.

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