Florida is one of the number one states for elder abuse in the country. Many elders decide to retire in Florida to live out the rest of their lives near the beach. As a result, Florida has the greatest population of elderly people in the U.S., which means a higher percentage of elder abuse. However, victims of elder abuse should also know that Florida has many kind and driven organizations geared towards the protection of the elderly and their rights. Know that you or someone you love are not alone, you just need to speak out and get yourself the plentiful amount of help Florida has to offer. You are never alone in this struggle against elder abuse.
Elder Abuse Florida: Statistics
It’s a common belief that most cases of abuse are physical or psychological. However, financial and sexual abuse is also a major problem, especially in Florida. While most cases of abuse are often from neglect (60%), financial abuse is something that the elderly can learn to avoid because it often requires their consent or signature.
Financial abuse in Florida, in recent years, has revealed a dramatic increase in overall percentages. A recent report suggests that the general percentage among neglect, physical, financial, emotional, sexual, and other types of abuse, financial makes up 12% of the national average of cases.
Unfortunately, most cases of financial exploitation in the elderly go unreported. They feel too afraid or intimidated to speak up. Under Florida state law, you are required to report any seen cases of elder manipulation or neglect.
Elder Abuse Florida: Laws and Regulations
Florida has some of the most stringent laws regarding the protection of the elderly in their state. The primary statute, under Adult Protection services Chapter 415, vows to protect elders that may be disabled or otherwise can’t protect themselves from abuse. The various laws and resources they have put into place are made to better detect and protect elder abuse. Such laws mandate the reporting of abuse, criminal penalties, and the provision of protection and counseling services.
Elder Abuse Florida: Resources
Due to Florida’s higher percentage of elderly in their population, they also have many resources to seek help for financial or any other type of abuse. A few of the organizations that can help the elderly through any type of abuse are: The Department of Elder Affairs’ Florida Senior Legal Helpline, The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service (finding an attorney), and The Thirteenth Circuit Elder Justice Center (various resources and information), to name a few.
If you or someone you know need help with elder financial abuse in Florida or any other type of abuse, please ask one of the above organizations for help.