Elder Abuse by Unlicensed Caregivers Threatens Wellbeing of Atlanta Seniors
An abhorrent recent case of senior neglect and abuse in DeKalb County serves as evidence of a growing problem of elder abuse and neglect committed by unlicensed elderly caregivers. A woman was arrested and faces criminal charges after keeping a 59 year old man, Johnny Ray Hill, with a number of medical problems, locked in squalor in her basement.
According to reports, Mr. Hill was approached after being released from a hospital by Chandra Renee Faust who charged him $500 to share a flooded basement with a disabled man. For breakfast the two were fed Ramen noodles in Country Crock margarine containers, and they were fed two bologna sandwiches for dinner. The men used 5-gallon paint buckets for toilets.
When the men protested their living conditions, Faust locked them in the basement but only after she had added her name to Mr. Hill's bank account, obtained an ATM card and checks on the account, made withdrawals and cashed a check made to cash for $1280. She was able to facilitate the financial abuse by taking Mr. Hill’s social security card and birth certificate.
The squalor the men lived in was made worse when the basement flooded during heavy rains. Faust’s solution was to move Mr. Hill into the same portion of the basement as his disabled “roommate.” When the men began complaining, Faust locked them in the basement.
“The living conditions were unbearable,” Hill said. “I asked to leave. ... But she refused. She became like a prison guard.”
Far from being an isolated incidence of elderly abuse, this type of elder neglect and abuse is growing with the weak economy. Public officials say the allegations are part of an increasing trend in which unlicensed or unethical caregivers take advantage of vulnerable elderly residents to get access to bank accounts and assets. Unlicensed in-home caregivers are taking in senior citizens to steal their assets and social security checks while providing deplorable conditions. Caregivers need to be licensed, regulated and punished if they engage in financial, emotional or physical abuse or neglect.
Based on national statistics, it is estimated that as many as 60,000 Georgia seniors may be victims of elder abuse. If you are a senior citizen or the family of a senior who needs care, it is important to rely only on a licensed provider from a reputable licensed agency. Often online research or a check with state licensing authorities can help protect a senior. It is also important to randomly drop in to see your elderly loved one to verify the conditions and care being provided.
If your loved one has been subjected to elder abuse or neglect, Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, represents seniors with compassion and vigilance. Our experienced Atlanta elder abuse lawyers have been representing victims of elder abuse throughout Georgia for over 35 years. Our Atlanta elder abuse lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.