The family of a mentally disabled Georgia man released video of their loved one being brutally beaten by staff members at a care facility he was staying in, hoping to raise awareness of elder abuse. According to the families attorney, Brian Jarrard, 55-year-old Joey Cason’s was admitted into a licensed facility called ‘Total Care’, after the family was not able to care for him. Physically, Cason isn’t disabled, he is able to move freely, but is severely mentally disabled.
Surveillance video recorded on November 7, 2013, shows staff hitting Cason with belts, punching him in the ground, and letting other residents hit the man. Cason’s family hopes the video draws attention to what lawyers are calling a “crisis of abuse” at facilities not only in Georgia but nationwide. I do have to warn you, the video is heartbreaking and so devastating to watch. Especially since you don’t want to believe this is how professionals act towards patients who need help. It makes me angry that healthcare staff find it so easy to take their power and use it negatively over someone. These are professionals who are being paid to care for patients who can’t take care of themselves. What these individuals did is beyond cruel.
Although the video is from 2013, there is still an ongoing lawsuit. Shakia Smith, a caretaker at the facility, was charged with battery and abuse/neglect of an elderly person in connection with the incident. The case against the former facility owner is still pending, but the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities revoked the facilities license after a full investigation was conducted. Thankfully, Cason was moved to a different facility in Georgia and is doing well, despite his trauma.
The National Council on Aging, also known as NCOA, said that approximately one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 has experienced a form of elder abuse. Some estimates range as high as 5 million elders who get abused each year. Unfortunately, according to NCOA, only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities.
According to the World Health Organization, around 15.7 percent of people worldwide over the age of 60 are subjected to some form of abuse. In 2017, WHO noted that the scope of the problem is probably understated, estimating that only 1 in 24 cases of elder abuse is being reported globally. Types of abuse include physical, psychological, sexual and emotional abuse, financial and material abuse, neglect, abandonment, and serious loss of dignity and respect.
The most common form of elder abuse, according to the WHO, are psychological abuse, financial abuse, neglect, and physical abuse.