ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) – A case of alleged elder abuse in west St. Louis County is bringing attention to a problem that experts say is getting worse.
Fifty-six-year-old Timothy Barnes is charged with abusing his 82-year-old mother. Court documents show Barnes is accused of allowing his mother to live in total decay, among mold, feces, and broken glass. Police say she was deprived of food and clean water. And, the documents say she’d been bed-ridden for a year, and hadn’t bathed in six months. Those documents also say the victim’s other son would try and help, but Barnes would threaten him.
Experts say similar cases of alleged abuse go unreported all the time.
“It can be very devastating, to know that someone is either being treated like that, or has been treated in a manner that is inappropriate,” said Donna Jasper, a social worker at the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging in St. Louis County.
Jasper has been in the business for 20 years. While she says abuse cases are ‘not the norm,’ even one case is too many.
So, the Area Agency on Agency provides caretaker support groups. And, Missouri and Illinois have abuse reporting hotlines. Missouri’s hotline number is 1-800-392-0210. Illinois’ hotline number is 1-866-800-1409.
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