Former nursing home worker gets prison for assaulting 95-year-old patient

(Rome News-Tribune)

A former nursing home worker who pushed around a 95 year ­old patient and struck her with the patient’s own hand was sentenced to prison Tuesday.

Floyd County Superior Court Judge Bryant Durham sentenced Susan Alane Gipson to 20 years with 5 to serve in prison.

“We’re serious about elder abuse in Floyd County,” said District Attorney Leigh Patterson. “This won’t be tolerated.”

Gipson also lost her nursing license as a result of the incident. Continue Reading

Aging Matters: Abuse & Exploitation

(Nashville Public Broadcasting)

It is estimated that one in ten adults over the age of 60 is a victim.  But the truth is we don’t know for certain how many older adults are suffering from abuse. In the eighth edition of Aging Matters, Nashville Public Television explores the issues behind elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. 

Experts suggest that our understanding of elder abuse lies decades behind that of child abuse and domestic violence. Elder abuse is underreported. It lacks clear legal definition and is complicated by ethical challenges.  The system of response is different depending on where you live.

What are the risk factors, what can we do to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and what is our responsibility to intervene for those in need? The questions are simple, but the answers are not.  Find out more in Aging Matters – Abuse & Exploitation. Watch the Documentary

*Georgia Division of Aging Services' Sharee Rines is a panelist in the video. 

Judge: Cobb, Dekalb men collected dead parents' Social Security


Two metro Atlanta men were sentenced for posing as their dead parents and stealing $500,000 of taxpayer money, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Corry Sandlin of Marietta and John W. Jackson Jr. of Decatur lied to Social Security workers about how their parents died, the agency said in a news release.

"Both defendants got away with their lies for years, stealing large sums of taxpayer dollars," said federal prosecutor John Horn. "Theft like this directly impacts others who receive these types of benefits.  Continue Reading

Three arrested after grandmother foils home invasion

(Fox 5)

COWETA COUNTY, Ga.- Two men and a woman have been arrested after grandmother with a gun thwarted an attempted burglary at her home in Coweta County, according to deputies.
“I don’t know why they selected that house, but they picked the wrong one,” Colonel James Yarbrough from the Coweta County Sheriff's Office said.

According to a report, Elaine Stiehl, 78, was getting ready to take a nap when she heard a noise coming from inside her home on Mount Carmel Road around 3 p.m. Friday. Stiehl loaded her gun, opened her bedroom door and saw two men standing in her hallway, the report said. Continue Reading


App Raises Awareness of Abuse of Elderly, Disabled Adults

(Cartersville Patch)

A new mobile tool called the GANE App (Georgia Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation App) is now available at no cost to assist at-risk adults, their families and law enforcement.

The GANE App was developed through a collaboration of the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services, the Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

At-Risk adults are persons over age 65 or persons 18 or older who are mentally or physically incapacitated or persons with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Frequently, situations arise where an at-risk adult appears to be abused, neglected, or exploited. Often, the public and law enforcement do not know how to handle these situations. Continue Reading...


Helpless patients live hidden away in filth as caretakers pocket pay from Medicaid

(The Telegraph)

An Alaska man developed gangrenous toes. A Philadelphia woman froze to death on the street. An Illinois woman died emaciated, covered in excrement.

These patients suffered as their government-paid caretakers neglected them, collecting paychecks under a Medicaid program that gives elderly and disabled people non-medical assistance at home. In some cases, the caretakers convicted of neglect were the victims’ own family members.

The Personal Care Services program, which exceeded $14.5 billion in fiscal year 2014, is rife with financial scams, some of which threaten patient safety, according to a recent report from the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services. Continue Reading


EDITORIAL: Elder abuse an epidemic in Northwest Georgia and statewide

(Rome Times-Tribune)

That message came through loud and clear in a meeting of the North Georgia Elder Abuse Task Force here in Rome. Law enforcement and state officials from throughout the region and also from Alabama began the work needed to launch a collaborative, multi-jurisdictional effort to cope with this epidemic.

Gwinnett County led the sad statistics statewide with 517 cases of elder abuse prosecuted over the past six-plus years, followed by DeKalb with 311, Houston with 308, Cobb with 263, Laurens 160, and Clarke 140. Next was Floyd County which has prosecuted 112 cases of elder abuse 2010 through mid-year 2016. In other counties of our region, the figures ranged from 33 cases prosecuted in Bartow to 27 in Polk, 10 in Gordon and four in Chattooga. Continue Reading

Sharp increase of elder abuse draws law enforcement groups together in Rome

(Rome Times-Tribune)

The growing number of elder abuse cases across North Georgia was labeled a “Silver Tsunami” by GBI Special Agent Heath Strickland.

The agent was one of many law enforcement officers who spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the North Georgia Elder Abuse Task Force at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Rome.

Law enforcement and state officials from Dalton to Dahlonega and even neighboring Alabama met to start what they want to be a collaborative, multi-jurisdictional effort to deal with the issue...Continue Reading

GBI hosts training on adult financial abuse

(Fox 5 Atlanta)

FORSYTH, Ga. - It is a crime that continues to grow across the country--the financial abuse of at-risk adults. To combat the problem, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation hosted a training session Monday for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and social services employees from all over the state. "The more training we do in the areas of crimes against the elderly and disabled persons, the more cases that are exposed," explained GBI Director Vernon Keenan...Continue Reading

Augusta woman accused of operating unlicensed personal care home


RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A woman has been arrested accused of operating an unlicensed personal care home.

Brenda Lee Nations, 57, was arrested after investigation by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, Georgia Department of Community Health, Richmond County Licensing and Inspections/Code enforcement, and the Augusta Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau.

In an incident report, it states an investigator met with a witness who said Nations was running an unlicensed personal care home. The investigator along with other Richmond County agencies arrived to the home and knocked on the door, but no one responded...Continue Reading

Elder Abuse can be prevented: Georgia takes a critical step, local communities can help.

For Immediate Release:

Every year, 4-6% of elderly Americans are abused. * That abuse can be physical, sexual, domestic, psychological, financial or outright neglect. In fact, that percentage may be much higher due to a reluctance to report incidents. As a way to combat this abuse and spotlight community advocacy, Wednesday, June 15, is designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).

In Georgia, a critical step in preventing elder abuse was made this year by providing a safer living environment for those receiving in-home care. Passed by the 2016 legislative session and signed by the Governor in April, HB1037 protects those who receive care from Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).

It basically expands Georgia’s existing Certified Nursing Assistant Registry to enable the receipt of complaints on CNAs working in a home setting. With this information, families and providers are able to research these caregivers more carefully.

This legislative effort was led by the Georgia Council on Aging (GCOA) and a coalition of community aging councils and related service organizations throughout Georgia.

Currently there are 73,000 active CNAs and 210,000 inactive CNAs on the Registry. There are 1,350 adverse findings of abuse listed on the Registry.

As Kathy Floyd, Executive Director of GCOA, stated, “In 2013 and 2015 we helped pass laws for stiffer penalties. GCOA will continue to work to provide tools to senior care providers and families to prevent abuse."

*National Incidence Study on Elder Abuse

Georgia Legislature protects seniors by expanding CNA Registry

During the 2016 Legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill that will allow the already existing CNA Registry to now accept complaints about CNAs in all settings. Previously, the Registry maintained by the Department of Community Health (DCH), only accepted complaints on licensed CNAs working in licensed facilities. Beginning July 1, 2016 DCH will have to respond to complaints on CNAs that work in home and community based settings. In addition, DCH will also have to make the Registry more prominent and easy to find on their website since the tool is accessible to the public as well as employers of CNAs. This is a big step in protecting seniors from caregivers that have a history of Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation of vulnerable populations. You can read the full bill here.  

Georgia couple, son sentenced for elder abuse of family member

(The Augusta Chronicle)

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A Georgia couple and their son have been sentenced to prison after each pleaded guilty to elder abuse of an 83-year-old relative.

The Savannah Morning News reports ( ) that each were convicted for abusing Deloris Pettiford, who was found lying on a couch suffering from malnutrition while maggots and insects crawled over her feet. Each pleaded guilty Thursday for failing to provide adequate health care for Pettiford to the extent that her health and well-being were jeopardized. Continue reading

2 Rome women indicted on felony exploitation, intimidation of elderly charges

(Rome News-Tribune)

Two Rome women were indicted Friday on felony exploitation and intimidation of elder persons after they allegedly swindled elderly people by lying about their need to drive to Florida because of a family emergency.
According to documents provided by Superior Court Clerk Barbara Penson and previous police reports and Floyd County Jail records...Continue Reading

Macon man charged with elder abuse, 16 counts of animal cruelty

(The Telegraph)

A 50-year-old Macon man has been charged by the Bibb County Sheriff's Office with elder abuse and 16 counts of animal cruelty.

Timothy Dunn, 50, was arrested after sheriff's deputies stopped at a home in the 900 block of Perdue Street to check on Dunn's 71-year-old mother. Deputies saw a large number of malnourished dogs and feces on the home's floor, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

The woman said she was fine and didn't need medical help, but neither she nor Dunn would let deputies inside the house about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

About 9:30 a.m. Thursday, deputies returned to the house with a search warrant and found several dogs living in "extremely dangerous and deplorable living conditions," according to the report...Continue Reading