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Neglect and Abandonment

Neglect of an elderly person’s needs, especially by one who has been entrusted to take care of that person, is sadly not as uncommon as it should be. A relative may ignore much-needed repairs at the victim’s home, or a caregiver may neglect to feed and bathe a victim properly. An abusive caregiver may not bother to make sure that the victim’s home has such necessities as heat and hot water. Some caregivers will simply abandon an elderly person, much the same way one might abandon a newborn. They may leave the victim at a hospital or nursing home, or they may leave the victim at a shopping mall.

If caregivers neglect an elderly person who is frail or confused, that person will become neglectful of his or her own needs. Ill health, coupled with loneliness and depression, may rob the person of any desire to eat, to go outside, to bathe, or to see old friends. This can put the person’s life in danger; he or she may become malnourished or ignore serious medical problems, for example.

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