Columbia woman seeking help for disabled brother - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Columbia woman seeking help for disabled brother

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - A Columbia woman is demanding better care for her disabled brother, and she is making some serious allegations.

It has been anywhere from a year-and-a-half to two years since Jessica Jefferson of Columbia last saw her brother, 30-year-old Joseph Jefferson, even though they live in the same city.

"I haven't just actually just seen him up close and personal, but people have seen him and said he looked pretty bad," said Jessica.

Jessica said her brother, who is severely mentally disabled and needs around-the-clock care, lives in a home on Lafayette Street with another family member- their aunt, Angela Jefferson.

"It's not livable," she added.

Jessica claims her brother, who can't take care of himself, is being neglected, malnourished and mostly kept in a back room with unsanitary conditions for the last 3 years.

Jessica says, "Everybody that I've talked to or went over there say every once in a while she bring him to the front but not very often, he always be in the one room and it's all the way to the back of the house."

A family member took photos of her brother, and Jessica says she couldn't believe her eyes when she saw them.

Jessica says she's been trying for three years to get her brother out of the home and has been to the police department as well as several state agencies.

"A removal is a matter of last resort," said Edna Clark, director of Aging and Adult Services with Mississippi DHS. "The vulnerable adult would be in a substantial dangerous situation. "It is something that is happening all over the state, all over the nation, and it is sad, and it is a shame."

For Jessica, that's just what her brother's case is about.

"He needs care, he needs to see a doctor on time, he needs to be treated like he's one of us, he needs some sunlight, he needs to be treated like a normal human being," said Jessica. "I'm going to keep trying until something is done about it.."

Anyone needing to report abuse of vulnerable adults can call the state's hotline at 1-800-222-8000

Copyright 2010 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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