By Amy Feldman

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Are you legally responsible to give care to an elderly family member and where can you seek help?

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A man was arrested in Pennsylvania on charges of criminally neglecting his elderly mother, causing her to suffer serious bodily harm.

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Pennsylvania, like many states, has a law that makes it a criminal violation for a caretaker to intentionally or recklessly cause injury by failing to provide care. And while those laws are generally used to prevent neglect in nursing homes, individuals can be deemed legally responsible as caregivers if they provide care and in exchange receive the elderly person’s pension or social security benefits.

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If you find yourself in the situation of caring for an elderly relative and using his or her social security checks to offset your expenses, you could be legally responsible as well. But every state has agencies that help the elderly get the care they need so, if you become unable to give proper care, look on ]line or in the yellow pages to find the help you all need.