Man Tries to Kill Senior Girlfriend in Nursing Home for Financial Reasons

It is perhaps every senior’s worst nightmare: a dispute over their finances influences the care they receive in their later years. It seems self-evident that nothing should get in the way of making medical and caregiving decisions based on maximizing a senior’s quality of life–not maximizing an inheritance for others once a senior passes on. Unfortunately, case after case demonstrates that some elderly community members suffer in their later years unnecessarily for financial reasons–not because they cannot afford proper care but because other want their money.

This confluence of elder law and estate planning was perhaps most vividly illustrated by a case discussed this week in SF Gate.

According to the story, a 63-year old woman was staying at a local care center because she was not able to care for herself at home. The details of her family situation are not known, however, she had been dating a 67-year old man for the past three years. Unfortunately, the boyfriend appears to have been motivated in the relationship mostly by the way that it could benefit him financially.

That is because, bizarrely, the man recently tried to kill the woman while she was living in the long-term care facility. According to reports, the man snuck a mini-refrigerator filled with bottles of water into the woman’s room. In reality the bottles were not filled with water. Instead, the bottles were filled with chlorine. The man had the woman drink 4 ounces of the chlorine every days for a couple of weeks–he tricked her into thinking that it was mineral water which would be good for her health.

Apparently, the man was trying to kill her. Though, experts explain that it was a clumsy method, because the chlorine, while harmful, requires highly concentrated doses to do damage that might be fatal. Fortunately, a staff members at the facility became suspicious and called police. The scheme was unraveled and the man was arrested on charges of elder abuse and attempted murder.

What was the motive? As usual, it was all connected to money.

While the details of the financial situation have not been revealed, authorities believe that the man was trying to obtain control of the woman’s financial situation. This may mean that the man was named in various legal documents to obtain control over certain assets in the event of death or disability.

In any event, this is a bizarre but memorable reminder of the need to handle elder care and estate planning details carefully using trusted sources well before you are in a position to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals seeking to exploit.

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