Relatives Leave Woman to Sit on Chair for Six Months, Where She Died from Neglect


*In what can only be assessed as a horrible way to go, an 82-year-old woman died from neglect as she was left sitting in a chair from which she had not moved to even use the restroom or bathe for six month. Coroner Parks Evans said her caregiver relatives found her dead in the chair in a bedroom of the home on Mount Vista Avenue in Greenville, S. C. on Jan. 2.

The first firefighters on the scene told authorities that the place smelled so bad upon entry, they had to set up a fan by the door, authorities said.

Prosecutors are still trying to decide whether to charge the sister and nephew of Barbara Beam with her death following the coroner’s ruling of it as homicide by neglect.

According to the Associated Press, Beam had been sitting in the same spot for so long that the back of her legs showed indentations; as was noted by an officer called to the decedents home on Jan. 2. The officer wrote that the dents were located on the back of her legs near her knees and that body fluids stained the sunken seat of her chair, according to the police report.

Home where Barbara Beam passed.
Home where Barbara Beam passed.

The officer asked the sister about Beam’s condition, and the sister said Beam “stays in the chair located in the bedroom and that she had not moved out of the chair for approximately six months,” according to the report.

The sister told police that Beam refused to eat a few hours before her death and they watched a soap opera together in her bedroom before she went to the kitchen. When she returned, Beam was slumped in her chair and the sister and nephew could find no pulse, police said.

Beam weighed 200 pounds; and when paramedics removed her from the chair to the floor, her legs are said to have remained in a “bent” position – as if she were still sitting. The officer’s report also noted that the decedent was not wearing pants. (Not clear if they mean underpants).

The report doesn’t give the caretakers’ names. Beam’s home phone is disconnected.

Prosecutors now have the case in their possession and are reviewing it, Greenville Police spokesman Johnathan Bragg said Friday.

Beam died from a blood clot in her lung. She also had deep vein thrombosis, which are clots caused by sitting for long periods of time, and a serious infection that started in her kidneys, according to the Greenville County Coroner’s Office.

How Beam’s sister and nephew can sleep peacefully knowing this is how their relative died, in their care, is beyond imagination.

RIP Ms. Beam. No one deserves to die this way.


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