Abuse of Elder, At-Risk Citizens

Georgia has special laws to protect residents 65 years of age and older, disabled adults who are 18 years of age and older who are mentally or physically incapacitated or have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and residents of long-term care facilities. Due to age and/or disability, this population may be at increased risk for abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Some signs of possible abuse include: 

Abuse: Hitting, beating, slapping, pushing, pinching; improperly using restraints; improperly using medications; withholding food, water or medications; inflicting mental pain, anguish or distress through verbal or non-verbal acts; non-consensual sexual contact of any kind; threatening someone with violence, nursing home placement, abandonment or neglect;

Neglect: Failure to provide basic care or needed services; failure to provide shelter, clothing, food, or medical care; leaving the person alone for long periods of time;

Exploitation: Taking away property or money by undue influence, force, threat, or deceit; misuse of financial resources for another's gain; taking a Social Security check without consent; having a power of attorney document or other documents signed without the victim knowing what he or she is signing; forging a signature; offering a “prize” that the victim has won, but must pay money to claim; and eliciting support for phony charities.

If you suspect abuse, neglect, and exploitation of this population, the resources below can assist you in reporting the matter:

  • To report abuse, neglect, and exploitation of an older adult or disabled adult who lives in a private residence, contact your local police and Adult Protective Services at 1-866-552-4464 - Press “3” or www.aging.ga.gov then click the Report Elder Abuse tab.
  • To report abuse, neglect, and exploitation of an older adult, disabled adult or resident in a facility, contact Healthcare Facility Regulation: 1-800-878-6442
  • To access information on long-term supports and services, services in the home and community, or support for individuals and family members who are aging or living with a disability, contact Georgia’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) to locate an office in your area: www.georgiaadrc.com

On July 1, 2017, the State of Georgia enacted the Uniform Power of Attorney (POA) Act. This new law will protect citizens from those who misuse their fiscal responsibility.  Someone with your POA must use your money in ways that benefit you and not their own interests. To access the new Uniform Power of Attorney law, review HB 221:  www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20172018/170165.pdf