Reporting Suspected Elder Abuse in Tampa Bay
If you suspect that elder abuse is taking place in Tampa Bay, it is important to report your suspicions through the correct channels. Older people may become vulnerable to abuse for a number of reasons, which is why they rely on younger generations to provide support. Understanding what constitutes elder abuse will help you better evaluate any suspicions you hold.
Elder abuse is different than neglect in that there is intent to cause harm. An elderly person may suffer physical, sexual, emotional, or mental abuse. There are a number of scenarios in which this abuse may occur in a nursing home, family home, adult day care facility, or hospital. Abuse can be carried out by a person in authority, a caregiver, a member of the public, or anyone else who has access to the elderly person.
Another form of elder abuse involves deception or intimidation. This ca occur where a person in a trusted role or another person with access to an elderly person knowingly obtains funds or assets belonging to the elderly person. It does not matter whether the responsible individual uses the funds, so long as those funds are obtained as the result of abusive actions, you can report it as elder abuse.
Physical & Behavioral Signs of Abuse
If you notice cuts, burns, or bruises on an elderly friend or relative, it may indicate that he or she is suffering elder abuse. Other physical indications may include sunken eyes or cheeks, signs of malnutrition, and neglected personal hygiene, which may point to negligence at the very least.
If you see changes in behavior such as anxiety, depression, confusion, fear, withdrawal, agitation, or outbursts of anger, or aggression there may be a cause for concern. If the elderly person is vulnerable, these signs may suggest that he or she is being abused or neglected by those charged with caring for the individual.
Reporting Elder Abuse in Tampa Bay
Under Florida Statute 415, Adult Protective Services you must report instances of elder abuse that you know or have reason to suspect is occurring.
You can call the Florida Department of Elder Affairs hotline number at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). Press 1 to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of an elderly or vulnerable adult. This toll-free number is available 24/7. Alternatively, those who are deaf or hard of hearing may use the TDD number: 1-800-453-5145.
Tison Law Group Elder Abuse Representation
In many cases, what you would consider elder abuse falls under negligence laws. You may be able to pursue compensation on behalf of a vulnerable elderly relative if abuse or neglect has occurred. Tison Law Group would like to represent you in your claim as part of our commitment to creating safer communities in Tampa Bay.
Reach out to the Tison Law Group if you suspect elder abuse and need further advice from a legal perspective. We are happy to provide expert education and representation in Tampa Bay when you call 813-739-1776 and speak to a member of our team.