Can you go to jail for elder neglect?

Failure to report elder abuse or neglect is considered a misdemeanor in most states. Elder abuse can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on where the crime is committed and the seriousness of the crime. An example of a misdemeanor of elder abuse may be reckless neglect, while an example of serious elder abuse could be violence against an older adult in a nursing home. Crimes against older adults can be committed by anyone caring for them, family members, neighbors, health workers, acquaintances or strangers.

Criminal negligence cases generally specify that the defendant must be a caregiver of some kind, with a legal or family duty to care for the elderly victim. But other crimes of assault, theft, fraud, sexual abuse, murder do not require any type of relationship between the defendant and the victim. Even though there are laws in place, there are nursing homes that still violate those laws. If you find yourself breaking the law, you can revoke the center's license, pay a fine, or even spend time in jail.

South Carolina seems to have many laws in place for long-term care of the elderly, and they are doing their best to enforce those laws. The Medical Affairs Committee has even imposed new laws to promote the safety and well-being of nursing home residents. While any crime can be committed against an elderly person, below are some of the most common crimes targeting elderly victims. To exploit the older person, the person could misuse the resources supervised by him or exploit the older person through misrepresentation, harassment, coercion, undue influence, or coercion.

Criminal neglect can be committed by a caregiver responsible for the care and supervision of the older adult. Laws generally define elder abuse as physical and emotional abuse, financial exploitation, sexual abuse, and neglect of people 60 and older. Two other employees have already been charged with abuse, neglect or exploitation of an elderly person for failing to report the allegations to law enforcement when residents notified them. Elder abuse ranges from financial scams and physical neglect to serious assault and sexual abuse.

Neglect may involve intentionally (not providing or seeking medical care for the physical or mental health needs of an older adult), such as food, water, clothing and shelter (not providing or seeking medical care for the physical or mental health needs of an older adult) or (acts or omissions) that put an adult most at risk of harm. Elder abuse is reported in up to 10 percent of lucid older adults and up to half of those suffering from dementia. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) provides resources and compiles statistics on this growing population and the growing prevalence of elder abuse. If you have additional questions, see the Nolo's Elder Law topic page for more articles and resources.

In addition, due to the potentially significant exposure associated with financial claims for elder abuse and the battered elder's inability to pay, we often offer contingency financial arrangements for elder abuse. An elder financial abuse case goes to court when the defendant refuses to return assets, such as money, stolen from an elderly person. Although extremely difficult, if an elder financial abuser is found to have unfairly taken an elderly person's belongings, California law provides a mechanism to disinherit them. Those who are victims of elder abuse, or their loved ones, are wise to contact an experienced elder neglect lawyer to discuss the case.


Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

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