BEAUFORT — Carteret County Department of Social Service workers are seeing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on families, especially on disabled adults and the elderly.
“We’ve seen an increase in the severity of the neglect cases,” DSS Adult Protective Services Supervisor Zack Dixon said Thursday. “Prior to COVID, people were out and about and there was more of a support system for the disabled and the elderly. With COVID and everyone self-isolating, the safety and support has dried up.
“No one is checking in with some of these individuals to make sure they are OK,” he continued.
Because of that, Mr. Dixon said by the time DSS workers are called out to check on individuals, the neglect is extreme.
“No one has been checking to see if these individuals have been out of food, if their lights were cut off or with dementia cases, if they’ve been bathing and cleaning themselves,” he continued. “We’ve found people who were severely emaciated and people living in conditions that were deplorable and unlivable.”
He added that as well as negative physical effects, workers are seeing an increase in mental health issues connected to long-term isolation. […]