The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced this week that an arrest was made in a vulnerable adult abuse case. The TBI had been investigating Memphis resident Terence Gray since November 12 after receiving tips alleging potential wrongdoing from the Tennessee Department of Human Services Adult Protective Services.
The TBI determined that Gray, while working as a caregiver on November 9, had assaulted a 69-year-old vulnerable adult at a residence at a Ridgemont Avenue-area in Memphis.
A warrant for Gray’s arrest was issued December 1, which charged him with one count of Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult. On December 30, Gray was taken into custody with the assistance of the Memphis Police Department and booked into the Shelby County Jail on a $5,000 bond.
Gray is no longer employed as a caregiver.
Vulnerable adult abuse falls under the category of elder abuse, as defined by the Department of Justice. Specifically, elder abuse is “an intentional or negligent act by any person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult.”
The TBI said that those who are experiencing elder abuse, are “totally dependent on the abuser and is afraid to complain for fear of reprisal.”
Elder abuse is usually physical in nature and can take many forms, the law enforcement agency noted. Signs can include frequent unexplained injuries or complaints of pain without obvious injury; burns or bruises suggesting the use of instruments, cigarettes; passive, withdrawn, and emotionless behavior; lack or reaction to pain; injuries that appear after the person has not been seen for several days.
Signs of sexual abuse can include the sudden appearance of sexually transmitted diseases; injury to the genital area; difficulty in sitting or walking; and fear of being alone with caretakers.
Signs of elder neglect can include obvious malnutrition; lack of personal cleanliness; habitually dressed in torn or dirty clothes; obvious fatigue and listlessness; begs for food; in need of medical or dental care; left unattended for long periods.
The TBI added that people who “have knowledge of or suspect this kind of activity are required to notify the proper authorities.” The law that requires people to report abuse also protects those who report abuse from retaliation from their employers.
To report elder abuse, contact either the local law enforcement department or, to call the TBI’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Hotline: 1-800-433-5454the TBI’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Hotline: 1-800-433-5454. Tips can also be sent to the TBI at [email protected]
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