Reporting Elder Abuse, Neglect and
Every year, hundreds of thousands of older Americans and adults with disabilities experience abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Abuse can happen anywhere, including in the person’s home, in a facility responsible for the person’s care, or in the home of a friend or relative.
In Florida, any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited must immediately report this knowledge or suspicion to the abuse hotline.
Abuse Hotline: 1-800-962-2873
Abuse Hotline for the Deaf: 1-800-453-5145
ALL CALLS ARE CONFIDENTIAL
For online reporting or more information,
What is elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation?
Learn about the different types and signs of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation:
What should I do if I think someone might be abused, neglected, or exploited?
If you think someone is in urgent danger, call 911 to get help right away. If you know or suspect that someone is experiencing abuse, neglect, or exploitation, contact Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-800-962-2873 to make a report.
It is a good idea to take a moment to gather any information you have about the situation before you make the call. For example, you will need to provide the person’s name, address, and phone number to APS, if you have it. It may also be helpful to write down the details about things you observed that made you suspicious.
It is not your job to investigate or to prove that abuse, neglect, or exploitation is happening. Instead, your report to APS is just one piece of the puzzle. APS will investigate the situation and determine whether abuse, neglect, or exploitation happened. If APS finds that the person needs emergency services or ongoing protective services, APS will offer services and advice to help the person.
Who is a “vulnerable adult”?
According to Florida’s Adult Protective Services law, a vulnerable adult is “a person 18 years of age or older whose ability to perform the normal activities of daily living or to provide for his or her own care or protection is impaired due to a mental, emotional, sensory, long-term physical, or developmental disability or dysfunction, or brain damage, or the infirmities of aging.”
A vulnerable person may have trouble caring for herself or completing important activities such as eating, dressing, using the toilet, moving around, or managing her money. Someone of any age can be vulnerable, and the vulnerability may be temporary or long-term. Just because someone is older does not automatically make them vulnerable.
It is not your job to determine whether a person is vulnerable. Adult Protective Services will decide this when they investigate a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation
Elder Abuse Information and Resources
Questions? Need help? Please call (561) 684-5885 and press option 3 to leave a voicemail for our Elder Rights Center. We check our voicemail daily and will respond to you as quickly as possible