Arizona adults unable to protect themselves from abuse or exploitation because of a physical or mental impairment are falling through the cracks of the state system designed to protect them.
This week on The Gaggle, an Arizona politics podcast, Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen get an advance interview with healthcare reporter Stephanie Innes about her reporting on the flawed system serving vulnerable adults.
This includes myriad agencies, such as Arizona's Adult Protective Services, Arizona Department of Health Services and more.
The episode takes you behind the scenes into a state task force meeting to hear heartbreaking testimony from victims and their families, and how local leaders are hoping to improve conditions.
The state task force convened after a woman with severe disabilities was raped and gave birth at Hacienda HealthCare in December 2018. Staff at the facility was unaware the woman was pregnant until she went into labor, according to 911 calls.
For suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult, Adult Protective Services operates a hotline: (877) SOS-ADULT or (877) 767-2385 or TDD: (877) 815-8390. The hotline does not run 24/7, however. The hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and state holidays.
To file online reports with Adult Protective Services at any time, use this link: azdes.gov/reportadultabuse.
To file online complaints about facilities that are licensed through the Arizona Department of Health Services, go here: app3.azdhs.gov/PROD-AZHSComplaint-UI.
The main phone number for the Arizona Department of Health Services is (602) 364-2536.
The Arizona Center for Disability Law is a non-profit public interest law firm that provides a variety of legal services to people with disabilities. Its toll-free number is 1-800-927-2260. The center has an online intake form and self-advocacy guides at azdisabilitylaw.org/getting-help/.
The Area Agency on Aging operates a 24-hour senior helpline for Phoenix residents at (602) 264-HELP or (602) 264-4357, which can help seniors navigate local resources and answer questions about transportation, housing, long-term care, home-delivered meals and home care.
The San Francisco-based Institute on Aging maintains a 24/7 toll-free crisis "Friendship Line" for older adults and adults with disabilities. The number is (800) 971-0016. Trained volunteers specialize in offering a caring ear and having a friendly conversation with depressed adults.
The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (800) 782-6400 or (602) 279-7270 (TTD/TTY).
The national domestic violence hotline: (800) 799-7233 or (800) 787-3224 (TTY).
The national sexual assault hotline: (800) 656-HOPE.