Man charged with neglecting ailing mother

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County authorities say an Edinburg man neglected his mother who suffers from dementia.

Robert Lee Wilson, 50, of 20 Lambert Villa, is charged with abuse or neglect of an incapacitated adult between Jan. 3-8 this year. Wilson was issued a summons last week to appear in Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on March 8.

An affidavit with the charging documents filed in the court states that the Shenandoah County Department of Social Services learned June 19 that Patricia Wilson was seen wandering the neighborhood and smelled of ammonia. The county fire marshal responded to the Wilson residence and measured the ammonia level inside the home as high, the affidavit states.

Patricia Wilson’s son Robert was informed of the high levels of ammonia in the home, the related health dangers and possible repercussions if the residence was not cleaned, the affidavit states. Patricia Wilson also was admitted that day to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital in the advanced stages of dementia, according to the affidavit.

Dr. Carolyn Flynn documented in medical records June 22 some safety concerns with the Wilson residence as a result of Patricia Wilson’s advanced dementia, the affidavit states. Robert Wilson told Flynn the residence was cleaned and he agreed to supervise his mother around the clock and to administer her medications as prescribed.

Another complaint was filed with the Department of Social Services on Nov. 28 regarding Patricia Wilson walking around the community and smelling like ammonia. Robert Wilson did not respond to messages left by the department, the affidavit notes.

Emergency dispatchers contacted Suzanne Brooks, a family services specialist with the Department of Social Services, on Jan. 3. A neighbor called for an ambulance to pick up Patricia Wilson, who was seen standing inside her front door turning the porch light on and off at a rapid rate, the affidavit states.

The following account is taken from statements in court records:

Patricia Wilson was reported to be confused and alone without supervision. She was released from the hospital after being diagnosed with a urinary tract infection for which she was prescribed an antibiotic. Hospital staff expressed to Brooks their concerns for Patricia Wilson wandering outside in the freezing temperatures.

Brooks spoke with Robert Wilson on Jan. 4 about the need for Patricia Wilson to have 24-hour supervision. He agreed to provide supervision and care for his mother.

The Department of Social Services received another report of concerns regarding Patricia Wilson, who had wandered to a neighbor’s residence in the freezing temperatures,  afraid to return to her own home, the affidavit states. Robert Wilson came to the neighbor’s house about an hour later looking for his mother. The neighbor told the investigator that Patricia Wilson mouthed that Robert Wilson had been asleep when she left. Brooks visited the Wilson residence around 5 p.m. the same day. Patricia Wilson answered the door. Robert Wilson and his girlfriend were asleep in a bedroom and, according to Brooks, difficult to arouse.

Brooks told Robert Wilson that Patricia Wilson was no longer safe in the home and that the department had secured the woman’s placement in a nursing facility. Robert Wilson told Brooks he had been awake all night caring for his mother and fell asleep for a second when she left the house. Brooks asked Robert Wilson why his girlfriend didn’t supervise his mother while he slept. Robert Wilson became agitated and told Brooks: “just take her; you’re going to do what you want anyway.”

Brooks asked Robert Wilson for his mother’s medication and clothing. Robert Wilson gave Brooks one medication. Brooks then asked about the antibiotics prescribed to his mother Jan. 3. Robert Wilson said he had some old antibiotics and was giving his mother that medication instead. Patricia Wilson was on numerous medications, according to medical records. When Brooks asked about the other medications, Robert Wilson said he had not been filling the prescriptions because his mother would not take the pills.

Virginia code designates the offense as a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail.