One of the more common reasons why people neglect to report elder abuse in Florida is the fear that no one will believe them. Others worry that inadequate evidence will prevent authorities from recognizing any wrongdoing which could increase victims’ risks of further abuse or retaliation.
The process of proving an elder abuse claim requires an investigation into reports of mistreatment. Families that are familiar with this process may feel more incentive to make a report so they can protect their aging loved ones.
Where to report
Elder abuse varies in severity and consistency. For example, an elderly person suffering physical or sexual violence requires immediate protection. On the other hand, an elderly person suffering from isolation and intimidation deserves equal protection but may not need emergency care. According to Web MD, people do not need proof of abuse to report concerns.
Families can consult agencies, such as Adult Protective Services if the situation lacks urgency. For victims in immediate danger, families should contact 911 and report their concerns to their local authorities. In either situation, a representative will visit the nursing home facility in question and assess the conditions to determine how to move forward with the investigation.
Regardless of the level of suffering, elder abuse is punishable by law. According to the United States Department of Justice perpetrators of elder abuse may face a number of charges depending on the circumstances. Mistreatment of the elderly can qualify as a misdemeanor or a felony based on the perpetrators’ criminal history, their level of involvement and the condition of the victims. If a victim sustains fatal injuries, families can still report abuse even after their loved one’s death.