Spartanburg, SC- Weak and often helpless seniors are easy targets for neglect and while this can happen in a nursing home it often happens in their own home by those they trust the most. A Spartanburg, South Carolina man was recently on trial for neglecting his 104 year-old mother.
George Leventis took care of his mother for almost three decades, but he was accused of neglecting her after a home nurse visited their home and found the elderly woman suffering from a bedsore and malnutrition.
The home health nurse arrived to the home Leventis shared with his mother Demetra Leventis on Dec. 4th. The nurse found that the 104 year –old had a sore with maggots and bugs crawling in it. Gnats were flying around the elderly woman and conditions in the home were described by the prosecutor as “deplorable.”
The nurse told the court that she tried to get assistance from Leventis to clean his mother’s wound, but he insisted he had to go to a doctor’s appointment and he and the nurse had to leave.
The nurse raised an alarm with the Spartanburg Public Safety Department and Demetra was removed from the home. She died a week later from “failure to thrive, secondary to the wasting away of her body and neglect” with infections and sores as contributing factors, the State reported. Demetra was diagnosed with skin breakdown indicative of malnutrition and dehydration.
Deputy Solicitor Derrick Bulsa told the court that at Demetra’s last doctor appointment is October she “appeared to be in as good a condition as you can be at that age.”
“It appears that he just quit taking care of his mother,” Bulsa said in court according to the state.
George Leventis was charged with neglect of elder adult.
He, however, maintained his innocence and said he devoted his life to caring for his aging mother. His attorney told the court his client took his mother to all of her doctor’s appointments and provided for all her needs. But he, too, suffers from medical problems which he neglected in order to care for his mother.
Leventis entered an Alford plea in case which means he didn’t admit guilt, but was aware that the evidence against him was enough to secure a guilty verdict.
“This is something that happened, it was uncontrollable, unavoidable, not something that he did intentionally or by neglect … It just happened because the perfect storm came into place,” Lenventis’s attorney Pete Diamaduros told the judge.
Leventis took his mother to the doctor when she developed the bedsore, but conceded that the infection got out of hand.
Leventis was sentenced to three years in prison, but it was reduced to three years’ probation.
This story of neglect is not nearly as severe as other cases of neglect. Leventis’s mistake was not getting help to care for his mother. There are many cases where family members or nursing home employees intentionally and maliciously neglect and even abuse their elderly relatives of patients.