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December 6, 2011

Officials Working to Combat Rising Problem of Elder Abuse (USA)

Brittany Green-Miner, Web Content ProducerFox 13
December 4, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY

Police, prosecutors and social workers are teaming up to take on the problem of elder abuse in the days following two cases of men charged with aggravated abuse of vulnerable adults.
48-year-old Alfonso Moya, Jr. was the first man arrested for the alleged neglect that led to the death of his father. Doctors say the older man was covered with dried feces and bed sores when he was admitted to the VA hospital; he didnt' survive emergency surgery.

Police say Moya, Sr. had been deprived of food and medicine, left for days, maybe weeks in a bed soaked with human waste, all while his son allegedly took his father's retirement funds and prescription pain medication, selling them on the streets.
"It was neglect in a very profound way," said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.
The next day, 51-year-old Bradley Myers was charged after his 74-year-old mother Geneil Larsen was found by police near death in a chair caked in human waste. Myers later told police he hadn't seen his mother move from the chair for the past couple of weeks. Larsen later died.
Gill says the abuse of elder adults is an on-going challenge in the community and hopes a new community response team can meet that challenge.

Salt Lake County Aging Services now works closely with prosecutors and police to review cases of suspected elder or vulnerable adult abuse.
"And then we decide, 'Is it ready for prosecution? Are there other information, other resources we need?' and we collaborate," said Peter Herbertson with Salt Lake County Aging Services. "A lot of the abuses we're seeing right now are financial exploitation. What's really sad is, it's mostly family members are the perpetrators."
The response team has already handled several cases and Herbertson wants everyone to know his team is available.
"The sooner people that suspect abuse report it, the better outcome we're going to have. You don't have to know for sure, if something doesn't feel right in the life of a senior or a vulnerable adult, please pick up the phone and contact adult protective services," he said.
Adult Protective Services can be reached at             801-538-3567       in Salt Lake County or tollfree            800-371-7897       statewide.

Copyright © 2011, KSTU-TV



SOURCE:       FOX13NOW
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