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Elder Abuse

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.

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) 252-8011 or by e-mail at mfcu@texasattorneygeneral.gov.

Abuse of a senior who is not in a health care facility can be reported to Adult Protective Services at (800) 252-5400.

Revised: May 28 2013