Son and daughter jailed for neglecting 76-year-old sick mother in Tenerife

The son and daughter of a 76 year woman who died through “cruel neglect” in Tenerife have been handed a 17-year prison sentence.

Son and daughter jailed for neglecting 76-year-old sick mother in Tenerife
File photo: slphotography/Depositphotos

Madrid’s Supreme Court upheld the sentence of “homicide through neglect” against the man and woman for failing to care for their ailing mother and denying “her most basic needs” of food and hygiene.

The pair lost their appeal against the 2015 ruling by a court in Santa Cruz, Tenerife and have been ordered to jail.

The case came to light in August 2015 when health workers were called to the home of Ana Delia after her death was reported by her son.

A team from Cecoes 112 found the woman curled up in a foetal position with visible signs of neglect, including ulcers all over her body from lying in the same position for long periods, and obvious starvation.

She weighed just 25 kgs (55 pounds).

READ MORE: Son arrested for starving 76-year-old mother to death in Tenerife

The woman, who suffered from osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, urinary incontinence and senile dementia had lived with her son and his wife and their daughter.

The son had agreed to share responsibility for the care of his mother with his sister.

 The judge declared in court that the siblings had “totally ignored her most basic needs”.

The court heard that the siblings stopped providing their mother with food, neglected to keep her clean and failed to regular alter her position to avoid bed sores.

This resulted in her “foreseeable and avoidable death” on August 26th, 2015.

Under Spain’s Civil code, children have a legal obligation to care for their parents when they are unable to do so.


Spain’s prosecutors file criminal complaint over virus care home death

Spanish prosecutors said Tuesday they have filed a criminal complaint against a Madrid care home doctor and its director over the Covid-related death of a resident, in the first such case in the capital region since the start of the pandemic

Spain's prosecutors file criminal complaint over virus care home death
Photo: AFP

Madrid's public prosecutor's office said the two women are suspected of manslaughter and denial of medical attention in relation to the death in March of a woman in her 80s who had just moved into the home.   

Madrid was one of the hardest-hit cities in Europe by the first wave of the pandemic, and the complaint is expected to be one of several alleging inadequate care at retirement homes during the period.

In a statement, the prosecutor's office said the doctor and the director of the home, who were not named, did not follow the protocol set up by the Madrid regional government for caring for residents during the pandemic.

The doctor “disregarded” the protocol and did not call a hospital about the woman, despite her worsening condition, until eight days after she began having breathing trouble.

“Despite her rapid transfer to hospital, she died the following day from cardiac arrest,” the statement said.

The care home's director “was aware of the patient's clinical situation (but) did nothing” to ensure she received health care during periods when the doctor was absent, notably on the weekend before her death, it added.   

Amnesty International warned earlier this month that conditions at elderly care homes in the Madrid region and in Catalonia remained “alarming” despite improvements.

In a sharply worded report, it said the “vast majority” of residents had not been properly cared for during the pandemic.

The measures put in place by both regions were “inefficient and inadequate” and violated the residents' rights, it said.   

Spain has been one of Europe's worst-hit countries, with the virus infecting more than 1.7 million people and causing over 48,000 deaths.

Close to half of that number are believed to be elderly people who died in homes, Amnesty said.

At the height of the first wave in March, Spanish soldiers helping to fight the pandemic found elderly patients in retirement homes abandoned and, in some cases, dead in their beds.