Call 210-861-6000

Legal Protections Against Elder Abuse in Texas

 Posted on April 19, 2024 in Elder Law

San Antonio elder law attorneyEnsuring the safety and well-being of aging loved ones is one of the top concerns when receiving care. Unfortunately, elder abuse remains a significant problem, impacting numerous individuals. A Texas lawyer can discuss the legal protections with you for your family member.

Texas Laws Addressing Elder Abuse

The state of Texas takes elder abuse seriously and has enacted several laws to protect the elderly population. The Texas Human Resources Code, Chapter 48, defines elder abuse and outlines the responsibilities of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) in investigating and addressing cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The Texas Penal Code also provides criminal penalties for those who commit acts of elder abuse, including injury to an elderly individual and financial exploitation. These laws demonstrate Texas’ commitment to protecting the rights and well-being of its senior citizens.

Mandatory Reporting

Under Texas law, certain professionals are required to report suspected elder abuse to the DFPS. These mandatory reporters include doctors, nurses, social workers, and law enforcement officers. Failing to report suspected abuse can result in criminal penalties. If you suspect elder abuse, contact the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or report it online at

Adult Protective Services

The Adult Protective Services (APS) division of the DFPS is responsible for investigating reports of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. APS caseworkers assess the situation, provide necessary interventions, and work with law enforcement to ensure the safety of the elderly individual. APS also offers support services, such as counseling and assistance with finding alternative living arrangements when needed.

Criminal Penalties for Elder Abuse

In Texas, elder abuse can result in criminal charges depending on the severity of the offense. For example, causing injury to an elderly individual is a felony punishable by imprisonment and fines. Financial exploitation of the elderly, such as misusing funds or property, is also a criminal offense. These penalties act as a deterrent and ensure accountability for wrongful actions committed by abusers.

Civil Remedies for Elder Abuse

Besides criminal penalties, victims of elder abuse in Texas may also pursue civil remedies. The Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA) allows elderly individuals to seek damages for abuse, neglect, or exploitation. This can include recovering actual damages, mental anguish damages, and attorney’s fees. Victims may also seek a court order to protect them from further abuse.

Protecting Yourself or a Loved One

If you or a loved one is experiencing elder abuse, quick action is vital. Start by reporting the abuse to the appropriate authorities, such as APS or law enforcement. Consider seeking legal advice from an experienced elder law attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. Additionally, take steps to secure your finances, such as granting power of attorney to a trusted individual and regularly reviewing financial statements.

Contact a San Antonio, TX Elder Law Attorney

If you suspect that your elderly loved one is a victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, take immediate action to ensure their safety and well-being. Reach out to a San Antonio, TX elder law lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and help protect your loved one’s rights. Call The Law Office of Ryan C. Moe, PLLC at 210-861-6000 for a private consultation with a legal team that brings over 40 years of combined experience.

Share this post:
Back to Top