Consumer Protection Guide for Older Adults
Consumer Protection Guide for Older Adults
The Office of the Attorney General will not tolerate the abuse of Georgia's older and at-risk adults – whether physical, emotional, financial or by neglect.
Georgia has special laws to protect residents 65 years of age and older, disabled adults 18 years of age and older who are mentally or physically incapacitated or who 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.
Medicaid Fraud Division
The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Division has three principal responsibilities: to investigate criminal fraud committed upon Georgia's Medicaid program; to investigate the abuse and neglect of patients in healthcare facilities funded by the Medicaid program; and to enforce Georgia’s False Medicaid Claims Act in both state and federal court.
Under Attorney General Carr's leadership, the Medicaid Fraud Division has emphasized investigations involving the abuse, neglect and exploitation of Georgia's older and at-risk adults, schemes involving opioid overprescribing and dispensing, and scams targeting Medicaid beneficiaries.
Since he first took office, Attorney General Carr's Medicaid Fraud Division has secured 89 convictions for Medicaid fraud and the abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults, resulting in $19,373,894.15 in restitution orders in criminal matters. Over this same time period, the Medicaid Fraud Division has obtained civil settlements and judgements totaling $108,833,926.70 as a result of its efforts to safeguard the Georgia Medicaid program.
The Division maintains a publicly available phone number and email address for Georgians to report instances of fraud, abuse, neglect or exploitation.
With our Medicaid Fraud Division, we are working each day to ensure those who take advantage of older adults are held accountable for their actions. Elder exploitation of any kind will not be tolerated in our state.
Signs of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation
Abuse: Hitting, beating, slapping, pushing or 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; or 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; or 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; or eliciting support for phony charities.
If you suspect abuse, neglect and/or exploitation of this population, the resources below can assist you in reporting the matter:
- To report the abuse, neglect or exploitation of an older or disabled adult who lives in a private residence, contact Adult Protective Services by calling 1-866-55AGING (1-866-552-4464) and then press “3.” Georgians can also file an online report with the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services at aging.georgia.gov/report-elder-abuse.
- To report the abuse, neglect or exploitation of an older adult, disabled adult or resident in a long-term care facility, contact the Georgia Department of Community Health Healthcare Facility Regulation at 1-800-878-6442.
- To access information on long-term support 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 at www.georgiaadrc.com to locate an office in your area.
- If someone is in immediate danger, please call 911.
On July 1, 2017, the State of Georgia enacted the Uniform Power of Attorney (POA) Act. This law protects 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. Access the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (HB 221) here.
Elder Abuse: Related Press Releases