Shocking Case of Elder Abuse Results in 10-Year Sentence
A Fairfield, California woman recently was sentenced to 10 years in prison in a case of shocking elderly neglect that resulted in the death of the convicted woman’s mother. The 86-year-old woman weighed just 74 pounds when she died, and her body was filthy and covered in bed sores, reports the Daily Republic.
The prosecutor in the case stated that the elderly woman was left on the floor in excess of one year. She called it the worst case of elder abuse in the county in the past 25 years. The convicted woman, 58-year-old Stephanie Hamashin, demonstrated extreme callousness and cruelty by walking by her mother in that state every day and doing nothing, the prosecutor added.
Hamashin was convicted by a jury of the felony charge in October 2014 and was sentenced in April.
Another side to the story?
Hamashin’s defense attorney argued that his client had been ineffective as a caregiver but had not acted with malice toward her mother. He blamed Hamashin’s failure to take action on post-traumatic stress caused by an unhealthy relationship between the two as Hamashin was growing up. In addition, the younger sister of the accused woman stated that their mother had been abusive and violent.
The judge in the case, however, stated that Hamashin had in effect “imprisoned” her mother in the months before her death, which was marked by typical signs of elder abuse: infections, illness, and starvation.
Forms of elder abuse and elderly neglect
The Fairfield case is horrific, but elder abuse comes in many forms, including some that are more subtle. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living notes that elder abuse refers to cases in which caregivers cause harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult who is vulnerable.
All 50 states have laws on the books designed to prevent such abusive treatment of seniors. Types of abuse can include physical, sexual, neglect, exploitation, abandonment and emotional abuse. In addition, the failure of an individual to perform essential tasks to care for an elderly person who is dependent on them can be considered elder abuse.
If you believe you’ve been a victim of elder abuse or need more information on how our services can help you, contact the offices of elder abuse attorneys Garcia & Artigliere, or call (800) 328-2630.