What are the Elder Abuse Laws in Florida?

Elder Abuse

Florida, while known for its sunshine and warm weather year-round, is also a well-known hot spot for retirement. With that being said, there is a significant amount of elderly individuals in Florida, and with that comes a higher risk of elder abuse.

What protections does Florida have in place for the elderly?

Florida Statute Section 825.102 provides that aggravated abuse of an elderly individual or disabled adult is a first-degree felony; neglect of an elderly individual or disabled adult is a second-degree felony, while a person who knowingly abuses an elderly person or disabled adult without causing great bodily harm commits a third-degree felony.

The Florida Department of Children and Families Division of Adult Protective Services is the agency in charge of investigating any and all reports of elder abuse. Elder abuse can be reported either by calling the Florida Department of Elder Affairs or by visiting their website.

While a significant amount of these elder abuse crimes are committed by family members of the elderly, by neglecting to supervise the elderly individual adequately, it may be surprising to hear that most of these crimes actually occur in institutional settings, such as nursing homes.

What is the difference between adult neglect and adult exploitation?

The most common type of elder abuse, neglect, is defined as the failure, error, or omission on part of a caregiver to provide care or supervision to the elderly individual. On the other hand, exploitation is knowingly taking unfair advantage of an elderly individual by a caregiver.

The key difference between these two types of abuse is the aspect of knowledge, or the intent to harm the individual. A caregiver who commits neglect does not specifically intend to harm the elderly individual, it is usually a mistake or disregard of responsibility. A caregiver who seeks to exploit an elderly person knowingly takes specific actions, such as abusing the elderly’s funds or assets, to take advantage of the elderly.

Whether a caregiver neglects or exploits an elderly person, they are committing abuse, and it should be reported if you or a family is concerned about a loved one that could be in a vulnerable position.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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