Elderly people need proper attention and care - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Elderly people need proper attention and care

June 9, 2006

Albany --

An Albany man remains in jail Friday night and charged murdering his elderly mother. We know more about the horrible conditions in which she lived and died.

It was so bad that 84-year old Jewell Hooks actually had maggots festering in bedsores and injuries she suffered in a fall. The case that has raised concerns among advocates for the elderly.

Some people at the Sowega Council on Aging are appalled by this case. The council provides services to help the elderly. They say they could have helped her son, Robert Hooks, care for her and could have prevented her death.

With that case in mind and hot summer weather ahead, it's definately a time to think about caring for those who need help. One Albany woman devotes her life to doing just that.

Three years ago a stroke paralyzed Bill Shannon on the left side of his body. After a fight for his life, he is doing well today with help from a loving hand.

"His spirit is so good, that it lifts mine, it lifts mine also. He's just a blessing," said Gloria Shannon.

Gloria Shannon does it all to get her husband through the day. She wakes up before six every morning to make sure he is bathed, dressed, fed and has his medication, all on schedule.

"It's just not any different actually that it used to be. Because you make the best of everyday," said Shannon.

It's a heavy task for one woman to take on alone, so she finds outside help from within her community.

At the Council on Aging elderly care is of the utmost importance. In fact there are more than 20 programs available to caregivers or elderly people who may need help.

"Our caregiver program, we do have a program that recognizes the value of the caregiver and offers them encouragement and support," said Kay Hind.

For Bill Shannon, support from the Council and his wife make a world of difference.

"I'm very happy and very fortunate. I know a lot of people their spouses would not be able to mentally or physically handle what she's had to handle," said Bill Shannon.

Gloria Shannon feels blessed she is caring for Bill at home, and says it's worth sacrificing everything else.

"They know you love them, you're going to give them 100% of your love your care and your attention, and you need to do that," said Shannon. "You can have time for yourself, I read a lot."

It's a message she sends to others who care for the elderly or disabled, to be there for them and help them with loving support.

The Council on Aging reminds people that caring for elderly people at home requires a lot of attention. They're always ready answer questions anyone has regarding to elderly care, abuse or neglect.

The council on aging helps train law enforcers on how to recognize signs of elder neglect. Robert Hooks is charged with murder and cruelty to elderly in the death of his mother.

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