Elder Abuse Is Increasing in Florida
The number of elder abuse cases in Florida has gone up tremendously over the past few years. This increase places an even greater emphasis on the importance of elder abuse prevention in the state.
The number of elder abuse cases in Florida has gone up by 74 percent from 2011, bringing the 2015 total to 2,525 cases. This is a steep increase in a relatively short amount of time. In the past five years, more than 800 people in Florida have been arrested on elder abuse charges.
In the majority of cases nationwide, elder abuse occurred in the home rather than in a nursing home or hospital. Roughly 33 percent of those who committed abuse were the victim’s children, and more than half of abusers were women. In many cases, abusers had a mental illness or an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Dealing with Elder Abuse in Florida
Cases of elder abuse can be hard to prosecute, especially when seniors who have been victims of it insist on staying in their homes. This occurs even when the abuse took place in the home. In some cases, seniors are reluctant to press elder abuse charges, especially when their abuser is a child or loved one. Some seniors fear that their abuser will get back at them, while others do not want their loved one to get into legal trouble. Some seniors are afraid of how they will be treated in a nursing home and do not want to risk being neglected, even if that means being back in their home where they were abused. In some cases, seniors are unable to report their abuse due to cognitive decline or an inability to speak.
These factors can cause difficulty for judges and prosecutors who handle these cases, since they must balance honoring the wishes of abuse victims with lowering the risk of having abuse occur again.
If you have reason to believe that a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact Garcia, Artigliere & Medby at 1-800-281-8515 for a free consultation with an elder abuse attorney. We have offices in Florida, Washington, California, Kentucky, and Arizona.