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Study: Georgia's elder abuse protections rank 23rd in nation

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Study: Georgia's elder abuse protections rank 23rd in nation. (WGXA/Eric Mock)

ATLANTA (WGXA) - Georgia ranks 23rd in the country for how well elder abuse laws actually protect senior citizens in a recent WalletHub study.

Pam Clayton, vice president of quality advancement and regulatory affairs for the Georgia Health Care Association, said Georgia has rigorous standards for reporting elder abuse and high accountability for nursing homes.

If there is an allegation of elder abuse or if staff members discover injury of unknown origin, they are required to report it to law enforcement or the State Survey Agency within two hours.

Nursing homes are also required to tell residents and their families or representatives how to report suspicions of abuse to the State Survey Agency anonymously.

Clayton said there is also a Certified Nursing Assistant Abuse Registry that people convicted of elder abuse must appear on.

The Georgia Health Care Association works to educate nursing home staff on how to identify and prevent abuse.

The National Center for Elder Abuse interviewed about 4,000 elders and found that the most common perpetrators for financial abuse on elders are family members (57.9 percent), friends and neighbors (16.9 percent) and home care aides (14.9 percent).