Archive for the ‘self-neglect’ Category

Protecting the elderly

June 19, 2013
 
An elderly woman was living in a house so small she couldn’t use her walker to get around. An adult daughter checked on her daily. A quick visit, to make sure she had some food. Unable to reach a table, she was reduced to crawling and eating food while on the floor, Park recalled.

The woman also needed help going to the bathroom. So she was given two diapers each day, Park said.

The woman lost more than 20 pounds. “It’s just horrific,” the judge said. “That someone would treat (her) that way.”

The story didn’t have a bad ending.

An emergency court hearing took place. Adult Protective Services got involved and the woman was placed at a nursing home.

Roughly a year later, she died, Park said. But her quality of life had been vastly improved until then, she said.

That type of case is why Park and numerous agencies have teamed together to raise awareness of the issue of elderly care and neglect and abuse.

Agencies, attorneys, probate court, law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office and Adult Protective Services (part of the Stark County Department of Job and Family Services) also have worked together to respond to cases of neglect and abuse more efficiently and effectively.

The group, named the Stark Multidisciplinary Advocacy Protective Resources Team (SMART), is holding a seminar Friday on the topic. Saturday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

It’s the third year for the event. Attorneys and those who work with the elderly will be attending the presentation, titled “Justice for All — Protecting the Elderly and Disabled: The Gray Zone of Incompetency and Incapacity.”

The registration deadline for the event has passed.

UNDERREPORTED

Susan Stroup, of Coleman Professional Services, says that public awareness is high for child neglect and abuse. The Stark County Department of Job and Family Services contracts with Coleman to investigate cases of elderly neglect and abuse.

But the issue of elderly abuse is sometimes forgotten, lost in the shadows, she said.

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Protecting the elderly

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