As residents of Texas, the State upholds the right of you and your family to be protected from any form of abuse. This means everyone, including older family members. Whether elderly Texans reside in their own homes, with family or in a nursing home or assisted living community, they are entitled to full protection from abuse under Texas law.
The Office of the Attorney General of Texas offers some guidance as to what constitutes mistreatment of senior citizens here, and the kind of behavior from which they should always be protected. These include (but are not necessarily limited to):
· Involuntary seclusion
· Threats of punishment
· Any type of corporal punishment
· Sexual assault or coercion
· Sexual harassment
· Verbal abuse
· Any oral, written, or gestured language that includes disparaging or derogatory terms, regardless of the person’s ability to hear or comprehend.
If you or a loved one is suffering from elder abuse in Texas, you can contact the appropriate authorities for help.
· If someone is in immediate or imminent danger, call 9-1-1 or your local law enforcement agency.
· If the person lives in in a nursing home or assisted living facility—or relies on a home health provider in his or her home—call the Texas Department of State Health Servicesat (800) 458-9858.
· If the person lives in a long-term care facility that receives Medicaid funding, report the criminal abuse, neglect or exploitation to the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unitat (512) 463-2011 (Austin), toll-free at (800) 252-8011 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Abuse of a senior who is not in a health care facility should be reported to Adult Protective Servicesat (800) 252-5400.