Greenwood woman charged with elder abuse; grandmother treated for sepsis, starvation

GREENWOOD, Ind. – A Greenwood woman is facing a felony charge for elder abuse after her grandmother was hospitalized.

According to court documents, Greenwood police were called to Community South Hospital’s emergency room after an 85-year-old woman arrived with severe bedsores. The sores were so deep her flesh was exposed, and they required surgery to close.

She was also severely dehydrated, septic, and starved after not eating for days. Her blood pressure was critically low, and she was drifting in and out of consciousness.

A detective spoke with the woman’s granddaughter and caregiver, Theresa Wilson, 45. She said she had been living with her grandmother for the past 20 years.

Wilson told the detective she first noticed her grandmother’s bed sores about a month ago, but she later admitted she noticed the bedsores three months ago.

Wilson said she planned to take her grandmother to the emergency room, but she had difficulty because of her work schedule.

According to court documents, Wilson had also been using her grandmother’s social security payments to pay bills, rent, and utilities.

Police arrested Wilson, and she was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in felony. She was later released after posting $1,000 bond.

As heartbreaking as cases like this one are, Ken Bennett, the Executive Director for Center for At Risk Elders, said they'll only increase. Bennett said the economy and the state's growing elderly population are likely causes for the increase in cases.

"If you’re gonna take on that responsibility, you need to build a team to help you. No single family member should be responsible for all of the care of the loved one," Bennett said.

For a list of resources available for both caregivers and elderly patients from CICOA, you can click here.

You can also click here for additional services from the Indiana Association of Areas on Aging.

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