FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, MS—Attorney General Jim Hood would like to remind everyone that today June 15, 2009 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The abuse of persons who are older takes its toll in human suffering, financial loss and potentially death.
In an effort to further protect the elderly in our state, representatives from the MS Attorney General’s Office attended the “Prosecution of Elder Abuse Cases” course last week at the Ernest F. Hollings National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, to enhance their capabilities to do justice by protecting victims and holding offenders accountable. The event was sponsored by the National District Attorneys Association.
From 2007 to 2008, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit had 42 convictions and 35 of those convictions were related to the abuse, neglect or exploitation of a patient or resident in a care facility. During that same period the unit provided 75 inservice training/education programs. This year the unit has had 18 convictions related to the abuse, neglect or exploitation of a patient or resident of a care facility, and has provided 37 inservice training/education programs. These programs educate the general public and members of the health care community about the Vulnerable Adult’s Act. The Vulnerable Adults Unit of the Mississippi Attorney Generals Office has received 420 complaints of neglect, 129 complaints of abuse and 130 complaints of exploitation since January 5, 2009.
“The ability to train our prosecutors and law enforcement officers to efficiently handle elder abuse cases allows our elderly citizens to safely go about their daily routines,” said Attorney General Jim Hood.
Complaints of suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of residents or patients living in a care facility including nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, mental health facilities or other board and care facilities, should be reported to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Attorney General’s Office at (601) 359-4220 or toll free 800-852-8341. Click Here to file a complaint on the Mississippi Attorney General’s website.