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Elder abuse can begin innocently and lead to dire problems

With one of the highest populations of senior citizens in the United States, Florida is home to the largest system of senior care services and facilities. Families and friends of patients in nursing homes are often warned to look out for elder abuse, but those problems can exist at home as well.

Abuse is often too subtle to notice at the beginning, according to a victims advocate counselor specializing in older Floridians. It can begin with a small request for financial help, a seemingly reasonable compromise about care or other way that an aging person slowly loses control over his or her own life.

Even people with a clear mind may suffer financially because protecting one's family is often a key social value to them. Seniors are rarely doing their families favors by shielding them from poor decision-making or other causes of dire straits, but it is always hard to say no.

Sexual abuse is also a concern in Florida, as up to 75 percent of cases of abuse may go unreported. This is partially due to the humiliating nature of abusive behavior, but also because many victims of sexual abuse are prone to blaming themselves and preferring to simply try to forget about it.

Experienced Florida elder abuse attorneys can help victims of elder abuse in the home or the health care system fight back against physical, mental, sexual or financial abuse. Legal action is not only a way for the victim to seek justice, but taking action against an abuser can help potential victims in Florida and beyond.

Source: The Gainesville Sun, "Community works to combat elder abuse," Deborah Strange, June 08, 2018

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