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Stop Elder Abuse & Neglect

Report Elder Abuse!! It's the LAW!!!

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Elder Abuse & Neglect

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Elder abuse is any form of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person. It is generally divided into the following categories: Physical abuse is physical force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment. It includes assault, battery, and inappropriate restraint.

Types of Abuse Include...

  • Physical abuse  happens when someone causes bodily harm by hitting, pushing, or slapping. This may also include restraining an older adult against his/her will, such as locking them in a room or tying them to furniture.
  • Emotional abuse, sometimes called psychological abuse, can include a caregiver saying hurtful words, yelling, threatening, or repeatedly ignoring the older adult. Keeping that person from seeing close friends and relatives is another form of emotional abuse.
  • Neglect occurs when the caregiver does not try to respond to the older adult's needs. This may include physical, emotional, and social needs, or withholding food, medications, or access to health care.
  • Abandonment is leaving an older adult who needs help alone without planning for his or her care.
  • Sexual abuse involves a caregiver forcing an older adult to watch or be part of sexual acts.
  • Financial abuse happens when money or belongings are stolen from an older adult. It can include forging checks, taking someone else's retirement or Social Security benefits, or using a person's credit cards and bank accounts without their permission. It also includes changing names on a will, bank account, life insurance policy, or title to a house without permission.

Texas Elder Abuse Law

By law, Texas residents are required to report known or suspicious elder abuse. Texas is home to more than 2.5 million elderly residents, and there are tens of thousands of elder abuse cases each year.

If the victim is in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or is in his or her home and relies on a home health provider, call the Texas Department of State Health Services at (800) 458-9858.

If the victim is a resident of a long-term care facility
that receives Medicaid funding, report the criminal abuse, neglect or exploitation to the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at (512) 463-2011 (Austin), toll-free at (800) 252-5400 or by e-mail at: [email protected]

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Abuse of a senior who is not in a health care facility can be reported to the Texas Family and Protective Services Elder Abuse Hostline at (800) 252-5400 or 1-512-834-3784.

Elder abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. Perpetrators can include children, other family members, and spouse's as well as staff at nursing homes, assisted living, and other facilities.

DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING

If you are equipped with a Teletypewriter (TTY), call Relay Texas by dialing 711 or (800) 735-2989. Tell the relay agent you need to call the Texas Abuse Hotline at (800) 252-5400.

Report Elder Abuse - It's the LAW!!

THE ELDER JUSTICE INITIATIVE

All Texans have an obligation to report suspicions of  elderly abuse or neglect. The law requires any person who believes that a child, or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is  being abused, neglected, or exploited to report the circumstances. A person making a report is immune from civil or criminal liability provided they make the report in good faith, and  the name of the person making the report is kept confidential.


Any person suspecting abuse and not reporting it can be held liable for a misdemeanor or state jail felony. Time frames for investigating reports are based on severity of allegations. Reporting suspected elder abuse to the Texas Adult Protective Services makes it possible for a family to get help. Individuals will have their identity concealed and will not run the risk of facing either civil or criminal liability.

Any Texas resident who knows about elder abuse and decides not to report it will be charged and convicted of a Class B misdemeanor. Texas law forbids anyone from filing a false claim of elder abuse. The Adult Protective Services (APS) is responsible for investigating any claims of elder abuse that take place within a care facility, including private homes.

Penalties for Not Reporting Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is considered a felony in Texas, although the circumstances involved determine whether it's a felony in the first, second, or third degree. Elder abusers who willingly cause serious physical harm on a senior citizen will be convicted of a felony in the first degree. A second degree felony occurs when the abuser causes serious physical harm through a reckless act.

You have a right to be safe and protected from abuse. The Office of the Attorney General and the State of Texas are committed to protecting you from verbal, emotional and physical abuse, as well as financial exploitation, whether you are living in your own home, with family or in a long-term care facility.

Abuse includes involuntary seclusion, intimidation, humiliation, harassment, threats of punishment, deprivation, hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, any type of corporal punishment, sexual assault, sexual coercion, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, or any oral, written, or gestured language that includes disparaging or derogatory terms, regardless of the person's ability to hear or comprehend.

Neglect means the failure of a caretaker to provide the goods or services, including medical services, which are necessary to avoid physical or emotional harm or pain. Exploitation includes a caretaker's illegal use of a senior's resources for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain.

Seniors may need help with their finances, but unless they hand control over to another person, they have the same right as anyone else to receive, spend, invest, save or give away their money. A family member, "friend" or nursing home may not take control of a senior's money without that person's permission.

If you are being abused, or suspect that someone else is being abused, do not remain silent. If you are aware of a specific act of abuse, neglect or exploitation, you are required by law to report it.If the victim is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 or your local law enforcement agency.

Source: Texas Attorney General
How to Spot and Report Elder Abuse and Neglect

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