Home Health Aide Charged with Manslaughter In Connection with Neglect of Elderly Woman

A woman has been charged with manslaughter after an autopsy revealed that a home-health patient died with maggot filled pressure ulcers (also known as pressure sores, bed sores, and decubitus ulcers). The woman, 53, was charged with second-degree manslaughter last week in connection to the death of her 80-year-old patient.

When authorities arrived at the elderly patients home to investigate her death in October, foul play was not initially suspected. However, the coroner noticed a strong smell of decomposition and found clear evidence of neglect. After evaluating the woman's wounds and physical condition at the time of her death, the coroner ruled the death a homicide.

The home health aide had been hired to care for the woman 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to officials. The aide lived with the woman and was paid to groom and bathe her, as well as ensure she took her medication and saw her physician.

During the investigation, the aide said she could see the top of the elderly woman's back but denied seeing any of the skin breakdowns or bed sores discovered during the autopsy. Authorities investigated the suspected neglect death for three months before arresting the aide. If convicted, she faces up to four years in prison. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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