How to Report Elder Abuse in Texas

According to 2014 population estimates, there are over 3.1 million residents aged 65 and older in Texas alone. While these seniors live in a variety of settings such as nursing homes or independent living complexes, there is one risk they all are vulnerable to: elder abuse. The Administration on Aging estimates there are over 2.1 million victims of elder abuse each year in the United States and only 1 in every 14 cases of elder abuse are ever reported. There is no excuse for abuse. If you or someone you love is being abused, neglected, or exploited, take action today.

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse can include many forms such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. Below are some of the most common types of elder abuse or neglect:

  • Physical or sexual abuse: any act of physical force used against an elder resulting in bodily harm or pain
  • Emotional or psychological abuse: the intentional infliction of anguish, distress, or pain through verbal or nonverbal acts
  • Neglect: A caregiver refusing or failing to fulfill an obligation to provide care and necessary services to an elderly person
  • Self-neglect: An elder endangering his or her own health or safety by refusing to provide essential supplies or care
  • Abandonment: The desertion of an elderly person by an individual responsible for their care
  • Financial or material exploitation: Illegal or improper use of an elderly person’s finances, property, or assets

Abuse or neglect of an elder is devastating. Often times, the perpetrators are those that we trust with the caring for our loved ones such as a nursing home employee, a home health caregiver, or a family member. It is important to be aware and recognize the signs of abuse. For more information about the various types of elder abuse, read our article on the most common forms of elder abuse.

Reporting Elder Abuse or Neglect

If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, you have an obligation to report any suspicious or unsafe activity. By reporting the abuse or neglect, you are not only helping your loved one but also helping to protect others. Depending on where the abuse occurs, there are different agencies in charge of the investigation.

If the victim is a nursing home resident or in an assisted living facility,

you should contact the Department of Aging and Disabilities Services (DADS). Their Office of Long-term Care Ombudsman will further investigate any claims of neglect or abuse that take place in a nursing home or assisted living facility. You can contact them at 1-800-252-2412.

If the victim is not in a nursing home or health care facility,

you should contact Adult Protective Services. They will further investigate claims of any adults that have a disability or are over the age of 65 and are in a state of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. You can contact them at 1-800-252-5400.

If you or a loved one is being abused, take action today. Contact one of the agencies responsible for investigating elder abuse. If the victim is in immediate danger, call 911 and remove them from the situation. The most important thing to keep in mind is the safety and well-being of the elder.

For more information on how to help prevent elder abuse, read our article, “5 Simple Ways to Prevent Elder Abuse.” Our attorneys have experience with all types of elder abuse and neglect cases. Contact Powers Taylor today for a free consultation.



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