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Elder Abuse in Florida: Underreported and Overly Frequent

Physical, verbal, and sexual abuse of elderly persons is on the rise in the United States. The very people that the elderly rely on for their care—their family, caregivers, and other professionals, take advantage of the power they wield over their elder counterparts. Florida has taken steps to criminalize and deter such horrific occurrences, but abuse not only is still happening, but is severely underreported. Vulnerable populations such as the elderly deserve to be protected by their families, their caregivers, and the legal system.

Elder Abuse in Florida

Just recently, reports surfaced of elder abuse in Winter Haven, Florida. A proactive young man placed a hidden camera in his father’s room after noticing unexplained bruises on his father’s arms and legs. The video footage revealed a horrific scene in which two certified nursing assistants abused his father, a 76-year-old patient suffering from Alzheimer’s. An Alzheimer’s patient is particularly vulnerable, as many times, the caretakers know the patient will not remember to tell anyone about the abuse. Even if they do remember, the loss of dignity an elderly person feels at this time in their life may prevent them from coming forward about such incidents. A national study indicates that a mere 1 in 14 instances of elder abuse are ever reported to the proper authorities. Other studies reveal that about one in ten older adults has been subjected to abuse or neglect in the past year.

Elder abuse is not merely physical or sexual. Verbal abuse and threats leading to fraudulently obtaining money, account or asset possession, or inducing an elderly person to make undesired changes to a will or trust are other forms of elder abuse. Often, the very people that the elderly individuals have entrusted with their finances and decisions are the very people who take advantage of that important relationship. Other cases may involve neglect, or a failure to provide sufficient resources to ensure the care of the elderly individual. This may involve withholding money resources, or not allowing the older person to control their financial resources despite the fact they have the power to do so. This may also include withholding care, treatment, food, or other necessary things for the purpose of inducing the elderly patient to do or not do something that would benefit the caretaker.

Miami Elder Abuse Attorneys

The law is on the side of protecting those who are unable to protect themselves. No matter how careful you are with selecting aides, visiting your family, and being proactive, this type of abuse is difficult to detect and underreported. If, for any reason, you suspect your loved one has been abused by those entrusted with their care, pursuing legal action is the best way to ensure those responsible will be brought to justice, that your family member will be compensated for his or her injuries or mental distress, and that your loved one will be removed from any danger. Our caring, experienced elder abuse attorneys at Alan Goldfarb P.A. are sensitive to these sorts of cases that require dedication, a deep understanding of the legal system, and zealous advocacy on behalf of those that are unable to advocate for themselves. This is not the type of thing you can be overly cautious about; contact our Miami attorneys today to learn more about your loved one’s legal rights.

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