What is Elder Abuse?

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elder abuse

Unfortunately, elder abuse is more common than you may think. Especially in Florida, where 20.5% of the population is over the age of 65.  During this pandemic, when more people are sheltering in place, and when family members are not allowed to visit nursing homes and other care facilities, concerns about how loved ones are faring at the hands of others are on the rise. 

The State of Florida has laws against elder abuse.  People can face both civil and criminal penalties for violating those laws.  Family members may wonder how they would know if their mom, dad, grandma, friend, or neighbor has been abused, and where to turn if it happens.  This article will explain what elder abuse is, and what can be done about it.    

If, after reading this article, you have additional questions about your own situation, then we welcome you to contact the elder abuse attorneys in Stuart, FL at Crary Buchanan.  At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to thrive as one of the oldest law firms on Florida’s Treasure Coast.  

Our elder abuse lawyers in Stuart are passionate about giving you the highest quality representation.  Call us today at 772-287-2600, or schedule a free estate consult online with our online contact form.

1. Elder Abuse Defined

Florida elder abuse laws protect the elderly from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  In this context, abuse is specifically defined as “any willful act or threatened act by a relative, caregiver, or household member which causes or is likely to cause significant impairment to a vulnerable adult’s physical, mental, or emotional health.”  

Included in abuse are both acts and omissions.  As you can see, this covers a lot of ground and leaves a lot of room for questions about what may or may not be considered abuse.  Elder abuse attorneys in Stuart, FL can help you with those questions. 

If you see bruises on a friend or family member, you may wonder if it is just because the elderly bruise easily and may have bumped their arm, or if it is because a caregiver grabbed them roughly?  Is that black eye caused by a fall, or did someone hit your loved one?  Are they crying because someone psychologically abused them?  Are they suddenly out of money, or have credit card debt for things they never purchased?  Is the nursing home staff not feeding them, failing to give them their medication, or leaving them lying on wet sheets for hours?  These are all things about which to be concerned.

It is important to note that elder abuse not only includes actual physical abuse, but also neglect and exploitation. Statistics show that nursing homes are the most common locations of elder abuse.  We trust nursing homes with our loved ones, but sadly they are many times the place where abuse can occur.     

2. What to Do If You Suspect Elder Abuse

If you suspect elder abuse or, even the possibility of abuse, you should contact the Department of Children and Families to report it.  In fact, Florida takes elder care so seriously that it is a crime not to report elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation.  

Florida has some of the best elder protection laws in the nation.  If a caregiver has been abusing an elderly relative and has caused injuries, then it is a good idea to contact an elder law attorney to discuss the abuse along with contacting the Department of Children and Families.  There are many ways to protect the elderly, and one of them is to call the elder abuse attorneys in Stuart, FL at Crary Buchanan.  The attorneys at Crary Buchanan care about the elderly, and we make it our mission to help right any wrongs, help stop the abuse, and make the people responsible pay damages.       

Contact Elder Abuse Attorneys in Stuart, FL to Help You Through the Process

At Crary Buchanan, we are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in every aspect of elder abuse law and personal injury law.  You can depend upon our 85 years of experience in the Florida legal industry.  Our legal team is passionate about maintaining the high standards of professionalism and legal service that were established and practiced by founding attorneys Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.  

Evans Crary Sr. began his law practice in Stuart in 1927 at a time when Martin County was only two years old.  He became a municipal judge at the age of 25 and served as County Attorney for 23 years.  During his time as County Attorney, he was elected to represent Martin County in the Florida Legislature.  In 1945 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives.  He served in the House for nine years and even served as Speaker of the House before he went on to become a member of the Florida Senate.  Today, the Crary Buchanan law firm continues to practice the example of integrity, professionalism, energy, and devotion that was clearly illustrated in the lives of both Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.

Our clients are more than case numbers; they are people. We recognize that you are an individual with unique needs and expectations.  Our team is here to meet your need and exceed your expectations.  When you work with us, you can have confidence that a caring legal advocate is on your side.

If you have more questions or want a dedicated elder abuse attorney in Stuart to help you, call 772-287-2600 or schedule a free consult online with our online contact form.  You can always depend on Crary Buchanan for community, experience, and trust.  Call today.  

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.  You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post.  No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied.  If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.