Caregiver charged after elderly woman found with open ulcers on body

Theresa Wilson
(Provided Photo/Johnson County Sheriff's Office)

WARNING: This story contains graphic images.

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — A Greenwood woman was charged with neglect in an elder abuse case.

According to a release, charges were filed against Theresa Wilson, 45, for neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, Thursday.

A hospital staff at Community South Hospital called the Greenwood Police Department on Saturday, Nov. 12 around 6:35 p.m. and reported 85-year-old Nancy Young had arrived with significant bed sores, was severely dehydrated, septic, and appeared to have not eaten for several days, according to the probable cause affidavit. Young also had critically low blood pressure and was in and out of consciousness.

The affidavit says the physician told police the bed sores may require surgery. The physician documented the decubitus ulcers on a level one through four, with a four being the most involved, as a level three or four. A level four implies a complete hole with the ability to see the underlying bone. The physician transferred Young to the intensive care unit.

Wilson, Young’s granddaughter and caregiver, spoke with detectives and said Young had been living with her for the last 20 years. At first, Wilson said she saw the bedsores about a month ago, but later recanted her statement and said she first saw them about three months ago, the affidavit said.

Tim Smith lives next door to the Greenwood home where Young lived with Wilson. When he saw pictures of Young’s bedsores, he responded that Young should have been in an elderly home.
He said he had no idea about Young’s condition, but he wishes he did.

“I would have definitely called 911,” Smith said. “Because people like that need help.”

Wilson had been treating the sores with anti-septic and triple anti-biotic cream. She told police she planned on taking her grandmother to the emergency room, but she was unable to due to her work schedule.

Dr. Ed Bartkus with IU Health said Young’s bedsores are “as bad as it gets,” based on the pictures he saw. Bartkus did not treat Young but he has treated severe bed sores in the past.
“Wow,” Bartkus said as he looked at the photos. “If [Wilson] had asked for help, people would have helped her. Even if that meant taking the patient to the hospital and having us take care of her.”

The affidavit says Wilson had been using Young’s social security payments to pay bills, rent and utilities. Wilson told police she takes out $1,030.00 from Young’s accounts. She said the money came from social security and her grandfather’s Teamsters pension.

Wilson told police she took responsibility for Young’s condition and said ‘I am guilty” and “It is my responsibility,” the affidavit states.

Wilson was arrested Wednesday morning.

To report elder abuse, you can click here.