Monday, April 1, 2024

Waterloo couple charged with dependent adult abuse in guardianship of relative

by Jeff Reinitz

WATERLOO — A Waterloo couple has been arrested after a relative was found living with untreated bedsores and other ailments in January.

Police arrested Jerry Lee Richards-Trask, 51, and Sunshine Marie Trask, 40, on Thursday for charges of intentional dependent adult abuse, a felony. They were later released pending trial.

Court records indicate Richards-Trask’s 66-year-old sister was found with bed sores that went almost to the bone.

“Per medical providers treating (her), her condition resulted from sitting in a chair or lying in a bed for months without access to repositioning, adequate hygiene, or regular medical care,” court records state.

The woman had been diagnosed with mental illness as a child and had been cared for by her mother. The mother passed away nine years ago, and Richards-Trask took over the court-ordered guardianship in 2015 and oversaw her daily activities, records state.

During a June 2023 medical visit, doctors expressed concern about the condition of the woman’s skin and suggested moving her to a higher level of care. But no follow-up visits were scheduled.

Then on Jan. 11, 2024, paramedics were called to their home at 639 Wallgate Ave. and found the woman on the floor covered in urine and feces, records state. She was taken to MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center for treatment where doctors noticed the bed sores and found she was suffering from COVID-19 and sepsis.

She was placed on a respirator and later moved to a Des Moines hospital.

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services sought an emergency order to treat the woman in March while measures were taken to find an alternate guardian, court records state.

Full Article & Source:
Waterloo couple charged with dependent adult abuse in guardianship of relative

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