Two Louisiana Caregivers Arrested After Elderly Woman Was Found With Maggots in Wounds

Police have arrested two men in Louisiana after an elderly woman in their care was found with maggots in her wounds.

The victim, whose name and age were not clear, was being cared for by Raymond Hoffpauir, 57, and Dustin Welch, 27, who lived at her home in Crowley, southwest Louisiana, Fox affiliate News 15 reported.

The woman's condition came to light after an extended family member visited her at her home, which they found to be infested with roaches. The relative told police the woman was very weak. Her ankles and legs were bandaged.

When the family member removed the dressing to look at her lesions, she found them to be extremely discolored. Maggots were crawling in some of her sores. The woman is also believed to have been bitten by a rat.

The victim was taken to Acadia General Hospital, where police were alerted to the alleged abuse.

Crowley Police officers questioned Hoffpauir and Welch. Initially, they denied their involvement, but later admitted they had not looked after the woman in weeks, ABC affiliate KATC reported.

The carers told police they had not changed the woman's dressings in days. They also failed to give her the insulin injections she required for weeks. The hormone is generally used to treat diabetes.

Police told KATC the victim is in hospital, and the Adult Protective Services have been alerted.

Hoffpauir and Welch were charged with cruelty to the infirm. Their bonds have been set at $25,000.

Elder abuse is a "significant public health problem," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states. One in 10 people aged 60 and over suffer abuse including neglect and exploitation, according to the agency. That amounts to hundreds of thousands of people a year.

Elder abuse is defined as "an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult."

Abuse can range from the physical, psychological, financial, sexual, as well as neglect.

The charity Action on Elder Abuse advises those who believe someone is abused to try sensitively bring up the topic, and to provide help and support.

"Whether you are a practitioner, friend or relative, you should always be honest and never make false promises—sometimes the abuse might affect more than one person and you will have a responsibility to other people too," the organization states.

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Police have arrested two men in Louisiana in connection with elder abuse. This stock image shows an elderly woman holding a walker. Getty