Elder Abuse a Growing Problem in Newnan

The Newnan Times-Herald

Recent cases of elder abuse might shed light on an expanding crime in Newnan. 
 
Elder abuse is also called elder mistreatment and refers to the act, or failure to act, by caregivers or another person in a relationship with older adults.
 
Owner and CEO of Home Helpers of Georgia and Alabama, Beth Dow, has worked with the elderly for more than 10 years. She has noticed that elder abuse is a recurring offense in many caregiver relationships. “I report to adult protective services about every other month,” Dow said on how often she sees cases of elder abuse. 
 
The abuse comes in the form of neglect or financial abuse in most cases, according to Dow. The caregiver will use, and in some cases, live off of the elder's money.
 
In cases where the elder can do very little for themselves, the caregiver will go hours without checking in with the elder. Leaving the elder without food or making sure they properly use the restroom can also be categorized as neglect. 
 
There are other styles of abuse such as: sexual, physical and emotional which are all punishable by arrest. 
 
There are warning signs and ways to prevent elder abuse. According to the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services, changes in behavior or emotional state can serve as warning signs. 
 
The refusal of the caregiver to allow visits with the elder is a possible warning sign along with comments about being mistreated by the elder. 
 
Joy Shirley, director of the Three Rivers Agency on Aging, says she notices the developing problem and feels that elder abuse is growing.
 
The state of Georgia has taken steps as recently as March to help prevent elder abuse, adding $766,000 for additional Adult Protective Service workers who investigate abuse of the elderly and disabled. Continue Reading