My grandmother has always been a battle axe, but now it's working against her. Efforts to convince her of the need, and tips or tools to help her remember that she needs to keep up on her hygiene and cleanliness have not been successful. Hired help to provide her meals or clean her house are met with refusal at best, violence at the worst. Its been like this for about 5 years and now her mental and physical health have declined so much that her home must be hazardous to her health, let alone anyone else unfortunate enough to have to go inside.
My sister, who has been away and hasn't seen the gradual decline was in for quite a shock. She now is accusing my father (my grandmother's son) of criminal neglect. He is the only family member who lives in the state with my grandmother, but as far as I know holds no legal authority to force my grandmother to accept others into her home to clean and maintain it, and as far as I know he hasn't been legally designated as her caregiver. To be sure, my father is aware of the situation, and the situation could certainly be seen as harmful to my grandmother, so it could meet some of the definition of elderly neglect, but he hasn't the time, money or ability to do much about it other than what my grandmother allows. Is this really a case of criminal neglect by a caregiver?
Can you be saddled as a caregiver without knowing the ramifications, without accepting the responsibility, and against the will of the recipient of the care, simply because you tried and failed to help, or because your positionin the family puts you closest to the person in a deplorable situation? It seems to me at this point that my father would need some legal framework to gain the authority his mother and allow him to force the hygiene, cleaning and maintenance needed to get her back to healthy and decent living conditions before he could be accused of neglect.
Web searches on this topic have not been helpful. Prior to your site they were all dead ends with lawyers promoting cases against nursing homes or definitions of neglect and hardships of caregivers without explanation of how one becomes legally responsible (willingly or unwillingly) in a situation where the recipient actively refuses care. Your site seems helpful however, could you point me in the right direction or reccomend better search phrases to get to the process or circumstances by which someone becomes responsible and what powers they can wield to act to ensure the welfare of their ward?