Bill raising protections for elderly, disabled adults approved

The Augusta Chronicle

Three bills intended to protect elderly and disabled adults have passed the Georgia Legislature and will be sent to the governor to sign into law.

The state Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed House Bill 803, which will make trafficking elderly and disabled adults a felony crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. A second bill will enable district attorneys throughout the state to form multidisciplinary teams to respond to suspected cases of neglect or exploitation of vulnerable adults, like the local Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly task force in the Augusta Judicial District. A third bill requires people who work with elderly and disabled adults to undergo background checks and fingerprinting.

Kathy Floyd, the executive director of the Georgia Council on Aging, praised legislators for passing the bills, saying they should aid in the prosecution of those who targeted vulnerable adults to gain access to their benefits and property.

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Woman accused of elder abuse

The Moultrie Observer

MOULTRIE, Ga. — A Colquitt County woman was in jail Wednesday in connection with the alleged abuse of a 89-year-old woman for whom she was providing home care.

Mary Calhoun, 66, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon after the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to suspected abuse of Ramona Desalvo.

The two women had been living at Calhoun’s 1108 Tallokas Point Road residence, sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Robinson said. Desalvo has been moved to a nursing home in the area. Continue Reading

2 'caregivers' indicted for murder, accused of killing 76-year-old neighbor

ajc.com

 

Two people who moved into their 76-year-old neighbor’s home rent-free to supposedly provide help with daily activities now are awaiting trial in his death, authorities said.

Jonathan Lee Barber, 29, and Tiffany Dawn Fountain, 28, have been indicted on felony murder and other charges in the September 2016 death of a Newnan man, a Coweta County prosecutor said. Continue Reading

Wife arrested in connection to elderly husband's death

WTVM

BARTOW COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

A 58-year-old Kingston woman in now in custody following a fatal shooting in Bartow County, February 21. 

Authorities say just before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, deputies and investigators responded to 53 Norton Road near Kingston, Georgia for a reported shooting. When they arrived, it was discovered that 83-year-old James "Sam" McCoy had been shot once and was deceased inside the residence.

Investigators questioned his wife, 58-year-old Kim McCoy, 58 and later arrested her for one count of murder. Continue Reading

3 nursing staff were seen ignoring the veteran's cries. This is why one is charged with murder

11alive.com

DeKalb County’s district attorney is explaining why a former nurse is charged with murder after the death of a decorated war veteran.

Earlier this week, a grand jury indicted two nurses and an aide on numerous charges related to the death of James Dempsey, a decorated World War II veteran. He died in 2014 while in the care of Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation. (Watch the Report)

Elder Abuse: What are the Warning Signs?

WABE

Earlier this year, Georgia Health News reported on a “horrific” elder abuse case in Albany, Georgia, that led to the arrests of three people.

Victims living in unlicensed personal care homes were deprived of “health care, shelter and necessary sustenance” in addition to being exploited financially, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said in a news conference. The senior adults were later relocated to licensed facilities.

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Governor recognizes local personal care home task force

The Augusta Chronicle

Members of the local personal care home task force were recognized by Georgia House of Representatives with a resolution honoring them for their work to protect elderly and disabled adults.

Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly was formed within months of District Attorney Natalie Paine’s appointment as the Augusta Judicial Circuit’s top prosecutor. Composed of prosecutors, district attorney investigators, sheriff’s officers, and representatives from the marshal, Hephzibah Police Department, coroner and fire department, CAVE has been instrumental in closing suspected unlicensed personal care homes, and prosecuting people suspected of exploiting and neglecting elderly and disabled adults. Continue Reading

Personal care home owner indicted

Augusta Chronicle

The operator of an Augusta personal care home where a 59-year-old patient was found dead last summer has been named in a 12-count indictment that accuses her of neglecting six elderly or disabled adults.

The Richmond County grand jury returned the indictment against April Paulk on Tuesday. In addition to the neglect charges, Paulk is accused of three counts exploitation of an elderly adult, two counts of identity theft, and one count of obstruction of an investigation.

Paulk operated Dynasty Care Facility at 1938 Kings Grant Dr. where Edward E. Dath was found dead July 25. The newly formed personal care home task force, Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly, began an investigation. Team members found five other patients at the home who were moved to homes with qualified caregivers, according to a news release from William Loomer, the district attorney office’s investigator tasked with leading CAVE.

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Study: Georgia Elder Abuse Protections rank 23rd in nation

WGXA

 

ATLANTA (WGXA) - Georgia ranks 23rd in the country for how well elder abuse laws actually protect senior citizens in a recent WalletHub study.

Pam Clayton, vice president of quality advancement and regulatory affairs for the Georgia Health Care Association, said Georgia has rigorous standards for reporting elder abuse and high accountability for nursing homes. 

If there is an allegation of elder abuse or if staff members discover injury of unknown origin, they are required to report it to law enforcement or the State Survey Agency within two hours. Continue Reading

Cobb Caregiver indicted after cops say he killed 91-year-old man

Atlanta Journal Constitution

A caregiver at an East Cobb assisted-living facility has been indicted on felony murder charges after police say he beat a 91-year-old patient to death.

The Cobb County grand jury made the decision on Thursday to move along the case of Landon Jean Pierre Terrel, court documents show.

According to a warrant, Terrel — who stands 6 feet and 3 inches tall, weighing 369 pounds  — beat Adam Neil Bennett inside the Sunrise at Cobb facility on Johnson Ferry Road until he broke the elderly man’s ribs, lacerated his kidney and punctured a lung. Continue Reading on myajc.com

Personal care home task force up and running in Augusta

The Augusta Chronicle

 

After learning about Gregory Lauderdale’s slow death that began with an infected bedsore, District Attorney Natalie Paine ’s obsession with personal care home patients kicked into full gear.

The result is a new, specialized unit, CAVE – Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly. William Loomer, an investigator in the district attorney’s office, is spearheading the unit.

Members include a prosecutor, DA investigator, and a member from the sheriff and marshal offices, the coroner and the fire department. CAVE will work closely with code enforcement and Department of Community Health employees who inspect personal care homes for violations of state regulations and local ordinances, Loomer said. Continue Reading

Forsyth woman charged for alleged neglect, exploitation of elderly in illegal care home

WGXA

 

FORSYTH, Ga. -- A Forsyth woman was arrested Tuesday for reportedly exploiting at least 11 elderly or disabled adults by running an unlicensed personal care home under poor living conditions.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, 39-year-old Michelle Oliver was charged with felony exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults, elder persons, and residents, felony neglect of a disabled adult, elder person, and resident and for operating an unlicensed personal care home.

During an investigation, which began in July, it was discovered that residents who rented Albany apartments from Oliver were begging for food.

From there, state and local agencies searched those apartments near South Jackson St. and Flintside Dr. Because of the living conditions, the units were condemned. Continue Reading

Arrest Made in Disabled/Elderly Exploitation Case

Albany, GA – On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) executed search warrants and made an arrest in a multi-county investigation involving the exploitation of disabled and elderly adults.  Michelle Oliver, 39, was arrested for exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults, elder persons, and residents (felony); neglect of a disabled adult, elder person, and resident (felony); and for operating an unlicensed personal care home (misdemeanor).  The case was worked in conjunction with the Healthcare Facility Regulation office, a division of the Georgia Department of Community Health, and Adult Protective Services of the Georgia Department of Human Services.

The GBI began the criminal case in July of this year after residents in the South Jackson Street and Flintside Drive area of Albany informed authorities that people living in nearby apartments rented by Oliver were begging for food.  The investigation led to state and local agencies executing search warrants on Oliver’s apartments.  The units were condemned by Albany Code Enforcement because of the living conditions. Seven elderly and/or disabled adults were triaged by Dougherty County EMS and the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. The individuals were relocated to licensed facilities.

State and local authorities also executed a search warrant at Oliver’s residence located at 102 River Overlook in Forsyth, GA, where she was taken into custody.  Four elderly/disabled adults, who were also living at the house, had to be moved to licensed facilities.

During the execution of the search warrants, it was learned that a residence in Bibb County was also connected to Oliver.  Authorities found three additional elderly/disabled persons at 2475 Houston Avenue in Macon.  The three individuals were also relocated.

The following agencies have also assisted in the investigation: Albany Police Department, Dougherty County District Attorney’s Office, Prosecuting Attorneys Council, Office of Attorney General -Medicare Fraud Control Unit, Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office, Albany Transit Authority, Southwest Georgia Council on Aging (Ombudsmen), and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation is still active and more charges against Oliver are expected. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the GBI office in Sylvester at 229-777-2080.

GBI Officers get life saving lessons in Forsyth

WMGT

FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Crimes against elderly people are being reported more, thanks to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) creating the At Risk Adult Abuse Plan. It’s a plan created to help decrease exploitation and abuse toward the elderly.

Part of the plan includes training officers about diseases, like Alzheimer’s, that are common to come across with older people.

Vernon Keenan, GBI Director, said the training is helping because officers have come across this disease more over the years.

“This is something that they are encountering routinely in their day to day activities and they need to be trained on how to handle these type of instances,” Keenan said.

So Tim Sutton, with Next Generation Training and Better Understanding, teaches officers about Alzheimer’s.   Continue Reading

Deputies: Suspects stole jewelry from elderly, disabled woman in Flowery Branch

WDUN

Two suspects are behind bars for allegedly stealing more than $1,500 worth of jewelry from an elderly, disabled Flowery Branch woman.

Scott Andrew Fuller, 39, and Tammy Roberts Martin, 41, were apparently living in the victim's home on Germantown Drive when the victim began to notice some her jewerly was missing, according to Deputy Stephen Wilbanks, Hall County Sheriff's Office spokesman. Continue Reading

Georgia man sentenced to 15 years in elder abuse case

WDEF

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Georgia (WDEF) – A Cherokee County man has pleaded guilty to exploitation of an elder person and forgery.

Reginald Keith is the adopted son of an 89 year old retired Postal Service employee.

Medical Fraud investigators say he stole money over a four year period when his father was in and out of the hospital and rehabilitation.

They say Keith forged checks in his father’s name and deposited them in his business’s account.

Ultimately, he took $90,000 from his father, including money from a reverse mortgage on his home.

His father would end up losing that home. Continue Reading

Authorities investigating death from personal care home

WDRW 12

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- After a massive investigation centered on a personal care home death of 59-year-old Edward Dath, several new developments have surfaced.

Richmond County authorities have responded to Dynasty Care Group 15 times since 2014. Seven of those 15, though, are just from this year alone.

Since 2016, the group home has had four residents wander or go missing.

What's more, a report was filed earlier this year against the owner for financial transaction fraud on a resident living at the home. Continue Reading

Grandson arrested, 'person of interest' in grandmother's disappearance

11alive.com

DECATUR, Ga. -- The DeKalb County Police have arrested the man they believe had something to do with his grandmother's "suspicious" disappearance.

Gregory Williams, 37, was arrested Thursday at the Kroger, located at the intersection of Flakes Mill and Flat Shoals Parkway just before 1 p.m., after police spotted him inside his grandmother, Millicent Williams' car, a 2014 Toyota Corolla in the parking lot, DeKalb County Police Lt. Lonzy Robertson said. Continue Reading