The Show on KJZZ

Listen live weekdays at 9 a.m.

Arizona Republic highlights resident-on-resident violence in senior living facilities

Published: Monday, May 1, 2023 - 4:09pm
Updated: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 - 11:43am
Audio icon Download mp3 (9.1 MB)

It’s something many families don’t consider when placing their loved ones in long-term care. And on Monday, the Arizona Republic tackled the issue of resident-on-resident abuse. 

The report was part of a series of stories related to the myriad challenges facing residents in long-term care. Resident-on-resident abuse isn’t a new phenomenon, but it can be deadly and many families may not even realize it’s a risk. 

For Dana Kennedy, the state director of AARP Arizona, this latest story was difficult to read. 

"There's a real level of frustration that more is not being done to hold these assisted living facilities and dementia care units accountable. And I think that the fact that, you know, a staff person doesn't even know if they should be reporting, and they need to go to their boss first, I think highlights a real serious problem," Kennedy said. 

Kennedy says a big hurdle for families is the reporting process and she wants a better system for reporting all instances of abuse and neglect. She also wants lawmakers to make long-term care a priority.

"The Department of Health Services, you know, is, you know, doing the best they can, but they also need resources to be able to do their job as well. And I know that we had a frustrating process with even getting somebody appointed to run the Arizona Department of Health Services. And I don't remember any question about what they were going to do for abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities," she said. 

The Republic considered solutions, which included private bedrooms and better training for staff, something Kennedy echoed. 

More stories from KJZZ

The Show Aging
Hear Republic reporter Caitlin McGlade with host Mark Brodie on The Show