Three Dekalb County healthcare providers are now facing charges after the death of a nursing home resident.
Investigators say Loyce Agyeman, Wanda Nuckles and Mable Turman failed to provide timely and necessary medical help and ignored a dying man's cries for help back in 2014.
But, this situation isn’t as isolated as you may think. It is said that for every one case of elder abuse that comes to the attention of authorities, there are another 23 cases never come to light. It’s an issue that has many like Stone Mountain resident Shoshannah Bryant on edge.
"My biggest concern is abuse I'm concerned about possible abuse," said Bryant who currently has two family members in area nursing homes.
Byrant adds she is constantly worried about the care her loved ones are receiving, a concern that is legitimate when examining recent statistics.
According to the Georgia Crime Information Center, more than 777 charges were filed against nearly 560 individuals for abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult in 2016. And, while the stats for 2017 aren't out yet they're expected to be similar.
"It could happen to anyone, my loved one is not exempt. But, I pray that it doesn't happen but it's possible because I'm not there 24/7 so I don't see everything that goes on in the facility," said Bryant.
But the Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division says there are a lot of things you can do to prevent your loved one from becoming a victim of elderly abuse.
"Around physical abuse, you want to look for bruising,the lacerations, you want to look for wounds that are various stages of healing, bite marks," said Abby Cox the director of Aging Services.
Cox adds because the signs of physical abuse can vary, you should also be on guard for signs of overall neglect.
"You want to lookout for dehydration, malnutrition, a home that is not in a safe environment for a person to live in, cloths with urine stains on it"
In addition, Cox says you should pay attention to changes in your loved ones financial habits and overall you should just be present and visit them on a regular bases. Advice Bryant says she takes.
“If the family doesn’t go visit their loved ones then they think they’ve been abandoned, and the nursing home workers don’t do the necessary steps that they’re supposed to do in providing care for that individual."
Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.