Visitor Question

Brain damaged adult son attacks elderly disabled mother…

Submitted By: Dee (Dunlap, TN)

A forty year old male suffering from brain damage due to an auto accident today assaulted his elderly disabled mother.

The attacks have happened numerous times, but recently they happen more frequent and have become much more abusive.

The handicapped son is 6′ and weighs approximately 180 pounds.

He is also mobile and capable of feeding and dressing himself.

The elderly mother has had numerous back surgeries. Him being her son, she took it upon herself to care for him, but now fears for her life.

He has threatened to kill her and recently broke down her locked bedroom door to let her know that one day he will follow through with the threat.

Whom should she contact regarding this situation?

He is currently sitting in jail due to an altercation that happened today. She was informed that she would need to pick him up soon and return him to their home.

This lady fears for her life, and one day he will surely kill her. What can she do?

The handicapped son is on numerous meds, therefore, I feel he should be placed in a medical facility rather than a jail cell. If you can offer any information or direction, or suggest whom she could call, it would be greatly appreciated. I am the sister of the elderly mother. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Dee,

Contact the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS). They have a helpline where you can get specific information on how to handle the situation with the brain damaged son…

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST Ph: (800) 560-5767 or (615) 532-6700

Helpline Advocates will:

– Listen to your concerns to help solve the problem – Give you resources in your area – Help you understand your rights – Make sure state and federal laws are followed

Grounds for the request for Involuntary Commitment for mental health evaluation are set out below and can also be found at: Title 33-Chapter 5-Section 403 of the Tennessee Code.

Title 33-Chapter 5-Section 403 reads as follows: Prerequisites for Involuntary Commitment:

(1) a person has an intellectual disability, AND

(2) the person poses a substantial likelihood of serious harm under § 33-6-501 because of the intellectual disability, AND

(3) the person needs care, training, or treatment because of the intellectual disability, AND

(4) all available less drastic alternatives to judicial commitment are unsuitable to meet the needs of the person, AND

(5) the district attorney general files a complaint to require involuntary care and treatment under § 33-5-402,


(6) the person may be judicially committed to involuntary care and treatment in the custody of the commissioner in proceedings conducted in conformity with chapter 3, part 6 of this title.

Learn more here: Legal Recourse for Domestic Violence

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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