If you suspect that an older family member or neighbor is suffering from abuse, it can be hard to know what to do. Vulnerable adults are often unable to report what is happening due to fear or disability, which means they rely on caregivers, family, and the community to step in and report the abuse. In fact, there are parties who have an obligation to report elder abuse; they are known as mandatory reporters.
Certain mandatory reporters are listed under O.C.G.A. Section 30-5-4, and they must report for victims of alleged elder abuse in the community. This code also applies to disabled victims of abuse. The Long-Term Care Facility Resident Abuse Reporting Act applies to alleged elder abuse victims who are long-term care facility residents. However, if you are a concerned member of the community, you are strongly encouraged to report suspected elder abuse.
Elder Abuse Types & Signs
There are a number of different types of elder abuse, each of which has warning signs. The main types are physical, emotional, sexual, and financial elder abuse. Neglect and self-neglect are also types of elder abuse you should report. If you have noticed signs that something isn’t right, even if it’s an elderly neighbor wandering the streets begging for money, you can report the issue to help protect that person.
The number of signs indicating elder abuse may be taking place is extensive. There are physical warning signs such as unexplained bruises or broken bones. However, the signs may be more subtle when it comes to elder abuse that is emotional or sexual in nature. You may not see visible signs of the abuse, but changes in behavior can provide clues that some sort of elder abuse is taking place.
Reporting Elder Abuse
If you wish to report elder abuse, there are various ways you can do so in the state of Georgia. For abuse, neglect, or exploitation suspicions you can call 911 regardless of where the abuse is taking place. The Division of Aging Services’ Adult Protective Services Central Intake in Metropolitan Atlanta or outside of Atlanta can help with elder abuse in community settings. The relevant phone numbers are (404)-657-5250 and 1-(866)-552-4464, respectively. If you would like to make an online report, you can do so with Protective Services.
Call (404) 657-5728 or (404) 657-5276 or the toll-free number 1-(800)-878-6442 to get in touch with the Georgia Department of Community Health. The department will help with cases involving nursing homes and community care facilities. If you are unsure which number you need, you can call the number which most closely fits or for further information visit the Georgia Government website page for Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of At-Risk Adults. The most important thing is that you report your concerns so the relevant agencies can investigate the matter.
To seek compensation on behalf of a relative who has suffered elder abuse, you can call the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. at 912-764-9616 for legal consultation and representation, or email us at email@example.com. We are your Georgia elder abuse advocates.