Expert talks about the number one problem behind elder abuse - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Expert talks about the number one problem behind elder abuse

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Nelson said she sees too many cases of elder abuse and neglect, and said almost always the primary caregiver is the suspect at the center of the case. Nelson said she sees too many cases of elder abuse and neglect, and said almost always the primary caregiver is the suspect at the center of the case.
LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Experts said elder abuse and neglect happen all too often. The number one problem behind it, people don't stay connected with one another and know what's going on in each other's lives.

In life, we depend on our family members, our friends, and our neighbors for help, but in our old age is perhaps when we depend on them the most. Sadly, that's when some folks get help the least.

"This is their only caregiver," said Gayle Nelson, Director of Aging Programs. "When this person is gone, they are afraid they are going into a nursing home, so they will tolerate a lot to be able to stay in their own home."

Nelson said she sees too many cases of elder abuse and neglect, and said almost always the primary caregiver is the suspect at the center of the case.

"Sometimes they will make someone comfortable because they want to stay there," Nelson continued. "They don't' want to force them, but there are a lot of excuses I have been given for not doing the right thing."

In the latest case out of the Shoals, 59-year-old Maria Springer was charged with elder abuse and neglect, after investigators said she let her 57-year-old sister-in-law Pamela Springer lay on the floor for weeks.

Investigators said Maria told them she didn't initially call for help because Pamela didn't want her to. Maria finally made the call, but Pamela passed away Wednesday night. Nelson said isolation is the first sign of elder abuse or neglect.

"In all instances, get to know your neighbors," said Nelson. "Get to know the elderly person next door, check in on them. Ask the right questions."

A special forum open to the public is being held on June 17 in Madison County to teach folks about elder abuse and neglect. It will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Madison County Department of Human Resources.  Lunch will be served for the first 100 registered attendees. To make your reservation, call TARCOG at 256-716-2442. 

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