Leaving Mom Alone

by M.J. Jones
(North Carolina)

Mom is 94 and has congestive heart failure. She is unable to get out of bed alone. However, she is able to ambulate using walker. Needs assistance with getting to breakfast table.


Can walk to bathroom but needs assistance with open/closing doors and while in bathroom. My question is -- What does the law say about leaving an elderly person alone in the home? A friend told me that it is illegal to leave mom alone in the house after she is put to bed because she is unable to get up in case of a fire or any other emergency. Is that true?

I have searched for information but nothing that specifically addresses this.

Thank you.

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Just Trying to Help
by: Anonymous

My dad is 85 and bedridden. I was told by my dad's social worker that he cannot be left alone at night for the same reasons such as a fire or medical emergency.

If my dad is found alone at night the police and adult protective services will come in and remove my dad from the home. I am not trying to scare you but just stating what can happen. I have to stay with my dad all the time. Does your mom have a life alert system?

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Legalities
by: Christine

Hi. I don't know anything about NC law, but I've gotten great answers in RI at www.counselfirst.com/elderlaw. (You'll be directed to a private firm.) I'm sure what applies here won't necessarily be what applies in NC, but I'm sure they can answer your very valid question, or at least lead you in the right direction. Best wishes to you and Mom.

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I Don't Think it's Illegal
by: Anonymous

Who makes up these fake laws? People seem to want to legislate absolutely everything these days, especially when it has nothing whatsoever to do with them. Funny, there are no laws stating that anyone or any facility has to take a person who is unable to take care of him/herself.

Trust me, if a person has no money, nursing homes will throw them into the street as soon as there is no money. If they are not Medicare or Medicaid eligible, too bad! If family members are too poor to take care of them, too bad! I'd be shocked if there was a law on the books that said an old person can't stay alone in their own home unattended.

If my disabled sister (quadriplegic) didn't have long term care insurance and parents to take care of her, she would have been sent back home from the rehabilitation hospital after her stroke to fend for herself after the insurance company stopped paying, and no law would have stopped them from kicking her to the curb once the insurance company stopped paying the bill.

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