With elder neglect, abuse, and exploitation on the rise in places such as nursing homes and senior care facilities, it is crucial that those who are vulnerable remain protected. Our Fort Lauderdale litigation attorneys outline what elder abuse looks like, and how we can help end it below.
Identifying Elder Abuse
According to Florida law, any vulnerable adult that has been abused, neglected, or exploited is able to recover actual and punitive damages. The action to recover these damages can be brought about by the individual themselves, their relative, or an organization acting on their behalf.
Statute §415.1111 defines “abuse” as any action or threatened action that is willfully taken to cause significant impairment to a vulnerable adult’s mental, physical, or emotional health.
The same statute identifies “exploitation” as a person in a position of trust manipulating, deceiving, or intimidating a vulnerable adult to use or obtain funds or assets for their own personal gain.
Some of the most common examples of exploitation include:
- The unauthorized taking of personal assets
- Misuse of power of attorney, leading to the unauthorized transfer, sale, or appropriation of property.
- The neglect or intentional failure to use a vulnerable adult’s resources for their maintenance and support.
While physical and emotional abuse may at times be easier to recognize, financial abuse tends to occur in isolation and is perpetrated by someone like a neighbor, caregiver, or even a relative. Though it may not seem overwhelmingly obvious to some, there are signs to look out for when considering financial abuse and exploitation:
- Large cash withdrawals between bank accounts
- Finding checks payable to “cash” or cash withdrawals on deposit slips
- Excessive purchases or gives for caregivers or health care workers
- Noticing an increase in credit card charges and spending patterns
- Any friend, relative, caregiver, or neighbor attempts to isolate the elder from other people and family members
If you have noticed any of these occurrences, waiting too long to take action may be at the detriment of your loved one.
Contact Our Florida Litigation Team Today
The best way to ensure your elderly loved one is protected is to have experienced legal representation on your side. At Adrian Philip Thomas, P.A. we are committed to ending the exploitation of the elderly, and are prepared to walk you through every step of the process.
To schedule a free consultation with our team, do not hesitate to contact us today through our website or give us a call at (800) 776-3103!