Exploitation, Neglect, and Abuse of Elder Adults in Georgia

Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Elder Adults in Georgia can take many forms and occur under many different circumstances. It is important to be aware of the types of neglect, abuse, and exploitation and be in touch with the warning signs so that you are able to assist yourself or a loved one if this most unfortunate event has taken, or is taking, place.

It is important to note that Abuse of Elder Adults is one the most underreported problems in the United States as well as one of the most undetected. This leaves Elder Adults very vulnerable in situations that we might assume are safe such as care in a nursing home or assisted living arrangement. The range of abuse can be very broad as well ranging from physical abuse to self-neglect.

Elder Abuse is most likely intentional as well whether it be someone doing something to put someone else in direct risk or harms way, from intentionally not giving a person her or his medication when needed or prescribed or failing to provide other necessities such as food or water.

At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts at representing individuals and families who have been subjected to Elder Abuse in Georgia. If you or a loved one has suffered from this most unfortunate situation, then please Contact Us for your free legal consultation so that we may assist you and/or your loved one in this time of need.

We can also assist you in determining whether or not suspected abuse has or has not taken, or is taking, place and this can be one of the first steps to remedy a situation. For example, you might notice that your loved one has marks or bruises on a part of his or her body that have no explanation. Or, you may notice that your loved one’s normal behavior may have changed which can indicate a problem such as withdrawal, fear or anxiety. Your loved one may make comment’s indicating mistreatment, or your loved one’s caregiver may refuse to allow you to see your loved one which can be most disturbing and a red flag for abuse.

The Types of Abuse and the Warning Signs may included, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Physical Abuse: Physical abuse can include battery or assault such as hitting, slapping, pushing, burning, the improper use of restraints or locking someone in their room all which can lead to broken bones, bruising, intimidation and pain.
  2. Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse can include threats, intimidation, isolation, and/or exclusion.
  3. Sexual Abuse: Sexual Abuse can include assault, harassment, and/or rape.
  4. Financial Abuse or Exploitation: Financial Abuse or Exploitation can include activity in bank accounts that is not accounted for, legal documents being signed by coercion, missing money or other valuables, unpaid bills that someone else is responsible for paying, and/or credit card charges that are not authorized.
  5. Neglect: Neglect can include the withholding of basic needs such as clothing, water, food, medical care, shelter, clothing, and/or inadequate supervision, that may result in weight loss, dehydration, and/or malnutrition. Neglect can also include living in unsafe or unsanitary conditions such as failure to prevent falls, living in filth, leaving a person in his or her own waste, failing to prevent bed sores, rodents and other waste present that may lead to decaying teeth, bed sores and rashes, just to name a few.
  6. Self Neglect: Self Neglect can include the failure to meet one’s own basic daily needs, one’s own refusal to take needed and prescribed medication, and/or one’s own neglect of hygiene.
  7. Medicinal Abuse: Medicinal Abuse can involve the withholding of medication and/or the intentional over medicating of an individual.

If you suspect any of these conditions or notice the warning signs, then it is time to act, and you may do so in any setting by calling 911. You may also access other Services such as the following:

  1. The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), Georgia Crisis & Access Line: 1-800-715-4225 (24/7 mental health, substance abuse & emergency services). 
  2. The Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection or OCP, (404) 651-8600 or outside Metro Atlanta 1-800-869-1123, enforces the Fair Business Practices Act and other consumer protection laws.
  3. GeorgiaCares, 1-866-552-4464, provides free health insurance counseling for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
  4. The Division of Aging Services’ Adult Protective Services, Central Intake in Metropolitan Atlanta 404-657-5250 or outside of Atlanta at 1-888-774-0152 or Report Online at: http://aging.dhs.georgia.gov/adult-protective-services
  5. Healthcare Facility Regulation (HFR), by calling (404) 657-5728 or (404) 657-5276 or the toll free number 800-878-6442, or Report Online at: https://services.georgia.gov/dhr/reportfiling/searchFacility.do?action=constituentComplaint, and the Facility Locator at: http://www.gamap2care.info/
  6. Long-Term Care Ombudsman, by calling 1-866-552-4464 or call the Office of State Long-term Care Ombudsman at (404) 463-8383 or 1-888-454-5826, or accessing the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Locator at: http://www.georgiaombudsman.org/location.asp

You may also Contact Us by any or all of the following means for your free legal consultation, and we are glad to assist you at any time: By phone at (770) 865-8654 and (813) 363-6664; by email at juliericelaw@outlook.com; and/or on our Contact Form on this website.