State investigators look into living conditions at Atlanta rental home

FOX 5 has reason to believe the state is looking into reports of elder abuse at a rented home in southwest Atlanta

It is FOX 5's understanding a tip led investigators with the Georgia Department of Human Services to a home on Jonesboro Road in Atlanta to investigate claims of elder abuse. 

No one was at home when FOX 5 went to the property on Wednesday.

Sources tell FOX 5 investigators are looking into the living conditions inside the home.

A spokesperson for the state department said they couldn’t confirm a specific claim against a facility due to state law.

That spokesperson did say, "We take seriously every report that might be made to the department and work with law enforcement when appropriate to ensure the safety of Georgia’s disabled adults and elder persons."

The home is near the Sounds of Deliverance COGIC Church. 

FOX 5 talked to the pastor of the church over the phone. He said he rented the home to a woman but was not aware of what was happening inside. 

The pastor claims the woman wouldn’t even let him inside the home when he asked in the four months she rented from him. 

"The state of Georgia is very much aware and concerned of elder abuse," Debra Stokes said. 

Debra Stokes is the Executive Director of the Georgia Council on Aging

"Elder abuse is not just physical, it’s financial and emotional," Stokes said.

The department was established in 1977 and is comprised of 20 members appointed by top state leaders with the goal of improving and maintaining good lives for Georgia’s elderly. 

"Needless to say the incidents of elderly abuse were exacerbated by COVID by a number of reasons also because of isolation," Stokes said. 

Stokes says the Georgia Attorney General has a special interest in preventing elder abuse and has a task force, but Stokes says the key is: see something, say something.

"If you suspect someone is being abused and if they come to you and said they are victims of abuse., not to ignore it," Stokes said.

The woman who reportedly rented the house is not being identified by FOX 5 because she has not been charged with a crime.

FOX 5 tried to contact the woman, but were unable to reach her.

Local law enforcement confirm a criminal investigation is underway at the property.

To report elder abuse can do so through the Georgia Department of Human Service’s Division of Aging Service website.