Stories of Elderly Abuse and Neglect in Florida are Real
A story by The Ocala Star-Banner profiles an 81-year-old man who was “fiercely independent” and didn’t want to live in a nursing home. He might not have needed to since he cooked for himself and walked well. But sometimes people of another generation can be very trusting and that’s what happened here.
The man needed help with shopping and getting to the Veterans Administration for doctor appointments. With no children or siblings nearby, he took the advice of a healthcare worker and got a 59-year old roommate who had lived a few apartments down in his complex. They shared a two-bedroom unit and the younger roommate had his rent paid in exchange for driving, some cooking and keeping the place clean. Unfortunately, the younger roommate decided to share a few more things – like the elderly man’s $50,000 in savings and his monthly military retirement and Social Security checks. He also failed to get and give the elderly man his medication for high blood pressure. The older man didn’t realize that he was a victim of elderly financial abuse in Florida.
Police have charged the man with scheme to defraud and obtain properly along with grand theft. Both charges are felonies.
This was just one of 19 cases of elderly abuse reported in Alachua County last year, according to the paper. The county reportedly ranks 33rd out of 67 counties in Florida in verified cases of abuse on the elderly. Elder abuse can take many forms such as theft, mental and physical abuse, withholding needed medication and food, sexual abuse and intimidation.
As difficult as it is to imagine someone could treat another this way, there were an estimated 5 million cases of elder abuse reported in the U.S. last year. If you suspect abuse on the elderly, step in, contact an experienced Florida elder neglect attorney to initiate an investigation, as well as contact the appropriate authorities. To report elder abuse in the state, call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 800-962-2873.