Smyrna, GA asked in Elder Law for Alabama

Q: Is it neglect if they if a elderly person falls eight times in a month and they don't take her to the doctor

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney
  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: Cases of neglect are incredibly fact specific and there is no bright-line test as to what constitutes neglect. Speaking generally, if someone is concerned that an elderly adult is being neglected, there are three basic options:

1. Contact local law enforcement. There are several new "elder abuse" laws on the books that are designed to protect vulnerable adults.

2. Contact DHR Adult Protective Services. DHR would open an investigation and dig more into the facts to determine if there is an elderly person in need of protection.

3. Consider filing a private protective proceeding (guardianship or conservatorship in Alabama). The petitioner can ask a court to appoint them or another individual to oversee the care of a person in need of protection. There are also other civil remedies available (such as a protective order). The main difference between option 3 and options 1 and 2 is that option 3 will require the petitioner to spend money on legal fees.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

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