Can a 15 yr old assume care for a senior dementia patient in patients calif home ?

Asked almost 2 years ago - San Diego, CA

My dad is 82 and has dementia and can no longer live alone. He wants to stay in his home and we cannot afford full time care. My 15 yr old son wants to move in and care for him this summer. My son is very mature and responsible for his age and is getting a special permit to be able to drive dad to medical appts.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Daphne Lori Macklin

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . No matter how mature, a 15 year old is still a minor and frankly quite young to have the responsibility of being a full-time caretaker of a medically and mentally disabled adult. I would encourage you to work with a social worker who specializes in elder care or a gerontologist to identify appropriate care resources for your elderly father. It might be possible to arrange for a level of in home care that allows the young person to provide some supervision to his grandfather but with an adult of legal age either close by or in easy communication in the event of an emergency. If your son is going to be paid for this service, you may want to review the laws for employing youth under the age of 18. While what you are proposing may not be illegal, it may in hindsight be irresponsiblel

    This is not a substitute for a consultation with an elder law or disability law attorney.
  2. Lawrence A Friedman

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Since a 15 year old is a minor, I would say he cannot be responsible for care. In fact, you are still responsible for your son's care. I'd be concerned that leaving a man who can't care for himself with a minor child full time might even open you up to elder abuse charges. Consult a local elder law attorney for better options.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law... more
  3. Barry Franklin Poulson

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleague that a mixed solution is advisable. No one person can provide 24/7 care. If you have a mix of a responsible adult, the good efforts of your son (fully compensated), and a visiting nurse or home care contract could do it. The visiting nurse can check vitals, the adult stops by (not just on call), and your son takes care of all the daily tasks, meals, and care. "It all depends" on a system of care, fail-safes, and a good plan that everyone knows and buys into.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I... more
  4. Daniel Mcgraw Little

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I understand the concerns expressed by my Colleagues, however, in some instances and if there are no other viable alternatives, it may be better to have a 15 year old with Grandpa than no one at all. Just be aware that there are a plethora of issues that must be considered especially Elder Abuse allegations.

    As an alternative you may wish to consider a Medi-Cal care facility. Be careful and remember the consideration is what is in Dad/Grandpa's best interest.

    No legal representation exists by virtue of this answer. It is recommended that you contact an attorney directly... more

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