Court action for elderly relatives if they are being abused

Court action can be taken if elderly relatives are being abused, Thursfields advises

Family members concerned that elderly parents might be suffering abuse from other relatives can take court action to resolve issues, according to Thursfields Solicitors.

The advice from the leading Midlands law firm comes after a recent Court of Protection case resulted in an order for an adult child to be removed from his mother’s property to protect her rights and interests.

Annabel Kay, head of Court of Protection and vulnerable client services at Thursfields, explained that the case involved an elderly lady living in a housing association property with two of her adult children.

She said that one of these had learning difficulties and was considered as presenting no risk, while the other adult child was the sole carer.

Annabel said: “The court heard that the adult child acting as sole carer left both the mother and the vulnerable adult child alone and unsupervised for long periods.

“The mother was also denied her basic rights as she remained in her room and had been stopped from having contact with friends and neighbours.

“She had been denied medical attention, nursing teams had been denied access and there had been no GP attendance for several years despite her having a difficult medical history.

“She had also been cut off from other family completely, was denied assistance from other caring professionals who would not attend the property as her child was abusive, and was subject to video surveillance considered invasive and obtrusive.”

Annabel explained how the judge hearing the case considered what was in the best interests of the mother in respect of her care and concluded that “a different regime” must be put in place.

The judge granted the local authority a vacation order to remove the adult child causing the problems, with measures preventing him coming within a six-street radius of his mother’s property.

Annabel said: “This recent Court of Protection shows the substantial issues that can occur when one child assumes sole responsibility for caring for an elderly relative, and more importantly reveals the action that can be taken if abuse is proved.

“The wider issue here is that many clients have significant concerns over how family members are being treated or have been treated by other members of the family over lockdown.

“Many may not know where to take their concerns or what options may exist to them. They may be having concerns with the local authority and how aware they are of potential abuse of rights.”

Annabel added: “The key point is that if any family members have any care concerns about the care of their elderly parents or other relatives, they should seek legal advice.

“We have the knowledge and experience to carefully consider and advise on the best steps to take, which can include pursuing a case with the Court of Protection.”

Any organisations wanting advice on elderly parent care issues can contact by calling 0345 20 73 72 8.

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