Caregiver Charged, Accused of Leaving Quadriplegic Man Alone for 10 Hours

The caregiver who left a quadriplegic man alone for 10 hours has now been charged.

Police say Joshua Palmateer from Shepherd had been caring for Todd Alwood for about a month.

After a disagreement that cropped up innocently enough, Alwood asked Palmateer to turn up the thermostat for him.

“He just looked at me and stood in the doorway and said you know what, you can find someone else to turn your thermostat down,” says Alwood.

Alwood was left alone in his bed without his emergency button, food or even a blanket to keep him warm.

“The air kept blowing on me so I was freezing and I didn’t even get my medicine for the morning and I tried hollering all day for someone,” says Alwood.

When Palmateer never returned, Alwood turned desperate.

“I put my pillow on the floor to try and cover the register so it wasn’t going to be so cold,” says Alwood. “I just said well here it goes and when I finished sliding all the way off the bed I landed on the pillow and the feet came up over my head and hit the wall and fell down.”

“I’m not a violent person at all and I didn’t even mean to hurt him at any circumstance at all,” says Palmateer. “I just got into an argument with him and I wasn’t thinking.”

For 10 hours, Alwood was left alone without a caregiver and two of those hours were spent in a small area next to his bed, unable to move.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” says Alwood. “It’s just a lot of time to lay there and hollering and hollering for somebody and nobody coming to help.”

Thankfully, his dad showed up just in time.

Palmateer has been charged with a misdemeanor of abuse of a vulnerable adult to the fourth degree.

Alwood says he’s currently looking for more caregivers to assist him.