Our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers have seen many cases of absolutely heart wrenching abuse and neglect of the elderly. We have seen this mistreatment occur in a wide range of locations, at private nursing homes, non-profit homes, halfway houses, and the senior’s own home. While some locations are more prone to mistreatment, the risk of facing extreme elder neglect exists virtually everywhere. In general, one would expect that the risk would be lowest when an elderly community member is cared for by their own relatives. However, as a horrific case discussed in the Las Cruces Sun News this week reveals, even relatives are capable of neglect. Considering that a large percentage of seniors are cared for by their relatives, there is actually much more elder abuse at the hands of supposed loved ones than most might expect.
According to the story, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter have been charged with criminal neglect of an 86-year old woman who died of pneumonia last December. According to documents filed with the court, it seems that the senior was essentially left to rot while her step-daughter and granddaughter used money that was supposed to be spent on her care. The senior neglect was brought to the attention of authorities more than a week before the woman’s death. Law enforcement officers went to check on the woman and were amazed and horrified by what they found. The senior was bound into a medical bed that was placed in a living room trailer. The condition of the trailer was apparently filthy with urine and garbage throughout the area.
The senior, who was unable to move, was stuck in the bed in a diaper. There were holes in the trailer, which meant that animals were able to enter and leave the home at will. The family lived near a chicken farm and so rats and stray cats were often found in the location. When authorities investigated the neglect complaint they found that the senior’s toes had been eaten off entirely by those stray animals. By the time authorities got there, all of the victim’s blood had already left her lower extremities. All of this occurred while she was still alive and stuck in the trailer.
Our Chicago elder abuse attorneys remain disgusted that this sort of care can be provided by relatives. When interviewed about the situation afterwards the victim’s daughter-in-law explained that her mother-in-law did not have much feeling in her lower extremities and so she wasn’t sure if she felt the bites. Officials are not so sure and they admit that it is unclear exactly what the woman went through as she was attacked by animals without anyone there to help her.
The two women have been charged with criminal neglect, and they are set to enter a plea on those charges next week. In addition, the woman may face federal fraud charges. The caregivers were supposed to use the victim’s Medicare and Social Security payments for the woman’s care. However, in the three months that the victims lived with them it seems that the two actually used the money to pay for their own bills.
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