Recognizing the Warning Signs

Safeguarding Adults in Arizona

As advocates for the safety and well-being of vulnerable adults, it’s important for Arizonans to understand the importance of recognizing the warning signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. By staying informed and aware, we empower ourselves to take prompt action and prevent further harm. Together, let’s be vigilant, proactive, and committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all adults in our communities.

A comprehensive list of key warning signs:

Unexplained injuries such as bruises, burns, fractures, or welts may indicate physical abuse. Look for frequent injuries or injuries in different stages of healing. Sudden changes in weight, dehydration, or signs of malnutrition can also be red flags for neglect or exploitation.

Pay attention to sudden changes in behavior, mood swings, or unexplained fear or anxiety. Signs of emotional abuse can include withdrawal, depression, low self-esteem, or a noticeable decrease in social interaction. Victims may exhibit signs of fear or agitation around certain individuals or situations.

Keep an eye out for sudden or unexplained changes in the person's financial situation. This can include missing money or valuable items, unexplained bank account withdrawals, unauthorized use of credit cards, or sudden changes to legal documents, such as wills or power of attorney. Manipulative behavior by individuals seeking control over the person's finances may also indicate financial exploitation.

Signs of neglect can manifest as poor personal hygiene, unclean living conditions, lack of necessary medical care or medication, or inadequate nutrition. The person may appear unkempt, wear inappropriate clothing for the weather, or show signs of untreated medical conditions. Self-neglect occurs when individuals are unable or unwilling to meet their own basic needs, putting their health and well-being at risk.

Be aware of signs of isolation and control in the person's life. Perpetrators may intentionally isolate the individual from friends, family, or support networks. They may exert excessive control over the person's daily activities, limiting their freedom or ability to make decisions. Monitoring or restricting access to communication channels, such as phone calls or mail, can also be indicators of abuse or exploitation.