Unfortunately, the abuse of elderly or disabled individuals is not entirely an uncommon occurrence. Many Massachusetts families have seen or experienced the abuse of incapacitated adults by appointed guardians, private nurses or even other family members. This can result in heavy fines or even jail time for the abusers.
A woman recently pleaded guilty to accusations of multiple felony charges, including neglecting an incapacitated adult causing serious bodily injury and financially exploiting an incapacitated adult. She had stolen and spent more than $70,000 of her mother's retirement savings without authorization. The woman was also accused of leaving her mother alone for several days at a time even though her mother was entirely dependant on her.
The elderly woman suffered from dementia and was unable to care for herself. Her daughter was given power of attorney and had access to her finances, including her mother's bank and retirement accounts. It has been recommended by prosecutors that the woman receive anywhere from 15 to 35 years of home confinement as well as a fine. If she is also found guilty of neglect, she may face additional punishments, including anywhere from three to 15 years of prison time.
Many people believe that when they get older their children will take care of them. However, many people choose to appoint a guardian outside of their family in hopes of preventing the abuse of the incapacitated adults around them. Massachusetts residents who wish to discuss their guardianship or conservatorship options could benefit from speaking with an attorney in their area.