One of the bigger news stories to hit our San Diego region is the alleged abuse of a 93-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor by his caregiver, a woman who was arrested while wearing five layers of clothing stuffed with thousands of dollars. Police found both the man's El Cajon home and own physical condition in a state of filth.
Since Milagros Angeles' arrest, much has been written about elder abuse, which often includes theft, physical abuse and neglect. Mr. Bauer, who is believed to have dementia, apparently required assistance after his wife died a few years ago. His children, who at the time resided in the Los Angeles area, presumably were the ones who hired Ms. Angeles to provide in-home assistance for their father.
But it's now obvious that the son and daughter failed to do due diligence. In fact, as of this weekend, no one had been able to locate the daughter, who has power of attorney. Perhaps if the man's grown children had been more involved in his care (or even his life), they would have discovered something was amiss much earlier. From neighbors' accounts, the caregiver took measures to prevent outside contact. And yet it wasn't neighbors or family who contacted police about suspected elder abuse -- it was someone at Mr. Bauer's bank.
Let's hope this case prompts more families to pay closer attention to their own situations involving in-home care for frail parents trying to age in place.
Article: Pearl Harbor Veteran's Case Shines Light on Elder Abuse