Elder Care Issues

By Corinne Rose

June 18, 2010 Updated Nov 12, 2007 at 7:22 PM EDT

(Fort Wayne, IN) -- Fort Wayne police are investigating a possible case of elder abuse, after an 85 year old woman was taken to the hospital in very serious condition this weekend.

But it turns out the case is much more complicated than first thought.

According to as police report, the 85 year old Fort Wayne woman was taken to the emergency room Sunday, reeking of what the officer called a "horrific smell," and with open sores on her swollen legs and her skin sloughing off.

But just because that happens, doesn't necessarily mean it's a case of abuse or neglect.

In this instance, neighbors claim the woman who lived alone was able to take care of herself.

They and the woman's family looked after her by mowing her lawn, fixing her porch, and bringing her groceries.

But they say she is "stubbornly independent," and wouldn't accept other offers of help.

Jennifer Nieno\Neighbor: "It wasn't like she wasn't getting up and down the stairs. It was just here in the past week, yeah, we noticed she wasn't getting up and down as much. But she said she had a flu bug, that she was told to stay in bed. By all means, no, not neglect at all."

It's one of those fine lines for those of us who've had to care for aging parents... when and how do you decide to intervene?

Where can people turn for help with those issues?

You can always call someplace like the Allen County Council on Aging. Experts there can refer you to help you find a solution.

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