Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another elder abuse case involving a hot car, this time at a casino near Baltimore, MD

There is a second conspicuous case of elder neglect reported by station WJLA n Washington DC, this time closer to Baltimore, in northern Anne Arundel County.  A man, Dwight McGinnis, 67, from North Carolina, is alleged to have left his mother, 98, in a car for a number of hours while he was in the “Maryland Live!” casino. But it appears to have been inside a garage, which would have been shaded, with a temperature of about 81 degrees F.  However, the mother was not able to get out on her own. The mother is wheelchair bound.  A passerby called police.  WJLA-7 has the detailed story here.  The man was arrested and charged with “vulnerable adult abuse” as the law is written in Maryland.

I had been told that a patient on memory-enhancing medication (Aricept) should not be left alone, by a case worker from a home health company, when my mother had started it in 2009.  I don’t know if that would be absolute, or would be on a “case by case” basis. 
Maryland does have a filial responsibility law (see July 7, 2007).  Apparently North Carolina does, too, according to a list from the New York Times by Jane Gross (link), mentioned here May 15, 2014.  There was a case in Washington DC (which does not have a filial responsibility law) reported here July 9, 2014. .
The fact that an adult is incapacitated (even if not elder) may be more important than age itself.  Family relations may not matter when someone takes "responsibility" for an incapacitated adult, for example, by giving him a ride in a car.  People should bear this in mind when volunteering.  

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