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Can my mother charge me with elder abuse?

Tellico Plains, TN |
Filed under: Elder abuse

I have been living with my mom helping take care of her for almost a year now even though she mentally abuses me and i have delt with it but now i can't take it anymore. She is able to do stuff for herself it just takes a little longer than usual. I have 3 other siblings and they don't help. I told her i needed a break for a couple of days and now she is telling everyone that she is going to charge me with elder abuse. Can she really do that? Do i have to be scared that if i visit friends she can put me in jail?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. The way the process would work is that she would (or someone on her behalf) would contact the appropriate authorities, an investigation would be undertaken, and then the case would be reviewed by the District Attorney to determine if the facts arose to the level of abuse. Based on the facts outlined above, I think it would be unlikely that you would be charged. That is based on the understanding that your mother could without assistance obtain all of the necessaries of life (food, clothing, shelter etc. etc.) If you are concerned, or contacted by the authorities, contact an attorney in your area for a consultation. There are many here on Avvo that would be more than happy to discuss this matter with you . Best of luck.

    I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Answers posted to Avvo are for general information only. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. Every case depends is fact dependent, and responses are limited to and is based on the information you posted. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.


  2. She doesn't sound too grateful now does she? It is highly unlikely you will be charged, however, in the unlikely event, you can simply retain a local criminal lawyer to defend.

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  3. It seems like mom really does not want to be left alone, or is scared that you will not come back. You should contact a local elderly outreach organization since many offer respite care where someone comes into the home and car for mom to give family members a break.

    Bottom line you need to have a talk with the other family members and tell them that you are not going to be the only one doing this anymore since you mentally can’t handle it. If they are unwilling to help then tell them someone has to be hired to look after mom since you are through.

    Good luck

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


  4. As the other attorneys suggested you would have to place your mother at risk to be open to any potential charges. I would arrange for temporary home health care services to avoid any risk you either yourself and to help your mother when you are not able.

    Good luck.

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  5. Being a caretaker is a demanding job. You need a break. She can call the police and charge you with anything. Document every single thing in case this happens. Be proactive and call the police in your town and explain the situation in advance. Good luck

    Please note that these answers are provided as a community service and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.

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