2020 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 5 - Crimes Against the Person
Article 8 - Protection of Elder Persons
§ 16-5-100. Definitions

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-5-100 (2020)

As used in this article, the term:

  1. "Alzheimer's disease" means a progressive, degenerative disease or condition that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking, and behavior.
  2. "Dementia" means:
    1. An irreversible global loss of cognitive function causing evident intellectual impairment which always includes memory loss, without alteration of state of consciousness, as diagnosed by a physician, and is severe enough to interfere with work or social activities, or both, and to require at least intermittent care or supervision; or
    2. The comatose state of an adult resulting from any head injury.
  3. "Disabled adult" means a person 18 years of age or older who is mentally or physically incapacitated or has Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
  4. "Elder person" means a person 65 years of age or older.
  5. "Essential services" means social, medical, psychiatric, or legal services necessary to safeguard a disabled adult's, elder person's, or resident's rights and resources and to maintain the physical and mental well-being of such person. Such services may include, but not be limited to, the provision of medical care for physical and mental health needs, assistance in personal hygiene, food, clothing, adequately heated and ventilated shelter, and protection from health and safety hazards.
  6. "Exploit" means illegally or improperly using a disabled adult or elder person or that person's resources through undue influence, coercion, harassment, duress, deception, false representation, false pretense, or other similar means for one's own or another person's profit or advantage, including, but not limited to, the illegal taking of resources belonging to a disabled adult or elder person when access to the resources was obtained due to the disabled adult's or elder person's mental or physical incapacity.
  7. "Long-term care facility" means any skilled nursing facility, intermediate care home, assisted living community, community living arrangement, or personal care home subject to regulation and licensure by the Department of Community Health.

    (7.1) "Mentally or physically incapacitated" means an impairment which substantially affects an individual's ability to:

    1. Provide personal protection;
    2. Provide necessities, including but not limited to food, shelter, clothing, medical, or other health care;
    3. Carry out the activities of daily living; or
    4. Manage his or her resources.
  8. "Resident" means any person who is receiving treatment or care in any long-term care facility.
  9. "Sexual abuse" means the coercion for the purpose of self-gratification by a guardian or other person supervising the welfare or having immediate charge, control, or custody of a disabled adult, elder person, or resident to engage in any of the following conduct:
    1. Lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person;
    2. Flagellation or torture by or upon a person who is unclothed or partially unclothed;
    3. Condition of being fettered, bound, or otherwise physically restrained on the part of a person who is unclothed or partially clothed unless physical restraint is medically indicated;
    4. Physical contact in an act of sexual stimulation or gratification with any person's unclothed genitals, pubic area, or buttocks or with a female's nude breasts;
    5. Defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer; or
    6. Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object except when done as part of a recognized medical or nursing procedure.

(Code 1981, §16-5-100, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 524, § 1-1/HB 78; Ga. L. 2015, p. 598, § 1-1/HB 72; Ga. L. 2019, p. 81, § 3/HB 424.)

The 2019 amendment, effective April 18, 2019, added the language beginning with ", including, but not" and ending with "physical incapacity" at the end of paragraph (6). See Editor's note for applicability.

Cross references.

- Alzheimer's and Related Dementias State Plan, T. 49, C. 6, Art. 8.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2013, p. 524, § 1-1/HB 78, effective July 1, 2013, redesignated former Code Section 16-5-100 as present Code Section 16-5-101.

Ga. L. 2019, p. 81, § 8/HB 424, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part: "Section 3 of this Act shall apply to offenses occurring on or after the effective date of this Act." This Act became effective April 18, 2019.

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 63 (2015).


Exploitation shown.

- Evidence supported the defendant's convictions for neglect, abuse, and exploitation of three disabled men that the defendant kept locked in the defendant's mother's basement with no sheets, a poorly functioning toilet, and an uncarpeted concrete floor, O.C.G.A. §§ 31-7-12.1,16-5-101,16-5-102; however, as charged, the abuse by deprivation convictions should have been merged with the neglect convictions. Exploitation was shown by the defendant's use of one man's government assistance check for the defendant's own purposes. Hawkins v. State, 350 Ga. App. 862, 830 S.E.2d 301 (2019).

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