Criminal Neglect and Financial Exploitation

Jason was 82 years old. He retired from his job at age 65 to care for his chronically ill wife. After her death five years ago, Jason became increasingly home bound and interacted little with the outside world. One of his children, Carol, phoned regularly to ensure he was all right and being cared for. Another child, Terri, lived nearby and was charged with overseeing her father’s healthand care and his finances. She was named as joint signer on his account.

Carol attempted to phone her father for several days and received no answer. She phoned Terri, who said his phone was out of order; therefore, Carol decided to visit Jason. What she found shocked her. The house was filthy; it looked as if it had not been cleaned in a long time. There were dishes piled in the sink, and rotting and moldy food was scattered throughout the kitchen. There was no food in the refrigerator. Not only was the phone out of order, but also the heat and electricity were out. The house was extremely cold. Carol found her father in his wheelchair. The coroner said he had been dead for two days.

When the police questioned Terri, they learned that she believed her role was to look in on their father every two to four weeks to ensure he had what he needed to survive. Terri reported that the last time she looked in on their father was approximately three weeks ago. She said at that time everything was fine. The kitchen was clean, and the heat and lights were working. When the phone quit working, Terri said she assumed he forgot to pay the bill. She knew he was becoming more and more forgetful with increasing dementia. She stated this had occurred before, and she would simply pay it for him when she got around to it.

Compare neglect by a caregiver with self-neglect.
Discuss financial exploitation and possible ramifications.
Discuss the types of investigators that need to be called in to build a solid case.
Discuss what in this scenario may point to financial exploitation and what to criminal neglect.

 

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