Elder neglect is the criminal act of failing to provide proper care for an individual who considered a disabled or elderly adult. This form of neglect typically happens at home, but it can also occur in a nursing home or resident facility where an elderly or disabled individual is not provided proper care.
The state defines elder neglect as a person having supervision of a disabled adult or elderly person or resident willfully depriving them of basic care. This basic care includes shelter, healthcare, and anything necessary to their well-being.
In order to ensure that proper medical care plans and religious freedom are not hindered by this law, Georgia has chosen to protect certain people from this criminal charge. Thus, this charge does not apply to:
- A physician working for a hospital, hospice, or long-term care facility
- Someone providing care in good faith according to their employment, such as a nurse at a hospital
- A guardian acting in good faith in providing spiritual treatment alone in lieu of medical treatment
Although elder abuse can encompass elder neglect, they are not exactly the same. Elder abuse is the physical, emotional, or mental abuse of an older individual. This can range from physically beating the elder person to regularly screaming at the victim. Additionally, the abuse may occur because of a caregiver’s intentional failure to provide care an older individual needs to live a full life, which would also constitute as elder neglect. Elder abuse and neglect can occur in a passive way, as well. For instance, the caregiver could fail to provide the older individual with adequate care because of their own illness, negligent, stress, immaturity, or financial troubles.
It is important to have a Georgia lawyer representing you against an elder neglect charge. Contact a criminal lawyer immediately to find out all possible defenses to the crime.