Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich



What Happens To The Victim If Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation Is Not Found?

If signs of abuse, neglect, or exploitation are not found, the APS caseworker will close the case. Sometimes, it is helpful to refer the client to other resources available in the community. There are many community resources and social services for older adults listed in this training manual.

Unfortunately, just because a case is closed does not mean that some type of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is not taking place. The victim might withhold the truth from the caseworker and there may not be any visible signs that abuse, neglect, or exploitation is taking place.

Many times, reports of self-neglect fall into this category. In Arizona, a competent adult has the freedom to choose to live in situations that may not be up to the standards set by society and thus, they create a concern for the rest of the community. Self-neglect sometimes start at an early age, but because the person is not vulnerable, he or she is considered lazy or eccentric. However, once that person becomes elderly, the community blames their age for the deplorable or unsafe conditions in which they reside. Other times, a person’s standard of care decreases with aging along with the ability to achieve the level of cleanliness or organization which he or she provided for himself or herself in the past. When APS investigates a situation involving a competent adult, they are usually told to leave, giving them no other choice because that client has the capacity to make that decision even if multiple reports are received on this particular client.

If you continue to witness signs of abuse, neglect, or exploitation after the APS caseworker’s initial visit, please contact APS with as much additional information as possible. If you think or feel that the case has been closed, please call the APS hotline again and make a new referral.