PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Friday, July 8, 2011

Woman Faced Elder Abuse Charges, After Caring For Relative Who Refused Medical Care

When 91-year old Maria “Concha” Lopez died in her Madera, California home a few years ago, she weighed just 35 pounds and was covered in bedsores described as so deep that her bones were exposed.

Lopez’s 26-year-old grand-niece Stephanie Hernandez was her great Aunt’s sole caregiver, and was recently acquitted of murder and elder abuse charges, but not before Hernandez spent over a year in prison and lost custody of her daughter, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Prosecutors in the case alleged Hernandez had neglected her great aunt to the point of criminal negligence.

But, Hernandez told a court that her great aunt had refused to see doctors and the defense portrayed her as a loving niece who was able to keep her aunt alive through many health setbacks.

Hernandez is now free, and fighting to regain custody of her daughter, but the case is reverberating in the elder care community, because expert says it’s a sign of what’s to come.

Dr. Brad Stuart, chief medical officer for Sutter Care At Home, a northern California-based in-home hospice services agency, told Here & Now‘s Deborah Becker that because of the aging population, cases like this will become increasingly common.

“First responders and medical examiners haven’t seen a lot of cases like this — yet. But this is not going to be an unusual case in a few years,” Stuart said.

Guests

  • Maria La Gang, Los Angeles Times San Francisco bureau chief
  • Dr. Brad Stuart, chief medical officer for Sutter Care At Home

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

June 6 Comment

Introducing A New Here & Now Website

Coming June 9, 2016, Here & Now listeners and visitors will experience our stories and journalism online in a whole new way.

June 3 Comment

Teenagers Create Impromptu Exhibit At San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art

As the pair toured the museum, they wondered if they could do better. So 16-year-old Kevin Nguyen decided to get creative.

June 3 3 Comments

‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Author Explores Conformity, Mental Health In New Teen Novel

Matthew Quick published his fourth young adult book, "Every Exquisite Thing," this week.

June 2 13 Comments

Do Meal Kits Provide Great Taste Along With Convenience?

Resident chef Kathy Gunst tested a multitude of meal kits, and gives co-host Jeremy Hobson the inside scoop.