It wasn’t unexpected, but the death of North Riverside resident Charles Matuska is still a shame.

It’s a shame he wasn’t able to live out his life in the home he loved, surrounded by his friends. Instead, because of a caretaker’s neglect, he spent the last three months of his life in a long-term-care facility far from North Riverside.

The man responsible for the neglect, Stephen Kowalsky, is a free man after pleading guilty and serving a little more than a month in jail. The remorse we hope he feels surely pales in comparison to the suffering Matuska endured.

Our parents and grandparents, especially people like Matuska who suffered from Parkinson’s disease and dementia, deserve loving, competent care. To have been neglected by a trusted caregiver was nothing less than a betrayal.

Charlie Matuska deserved better.