What is Elder Abuse and Neglect?
Elder abuse and neglect are actions committed against an older adult who cannot protect themselves because of a physical ailment or cognitive issues.
Abuse is physical, verbal or sexual harm inflicted in a senior and endangers their health and emotional stability.
Neglect is the intentional or unintentional neglect of an individual’s needs by failing to provide them the care they require. Neglect can include medication errors, ignoring a resident’s toileting needs and failing to move a resident enough that they develop bedsores.
How Widespread Is Nursing Home Abuse?
It ‘s hard to get an accurate picture of how widespread nursing home abuse and neglect is because many victims don’t report it. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) estimates that 9.5 percent of older adults in the U.S. are subjected to elder abuse including neglect, sexual abuse or financial exploitation. Nearly 58 percent of seniors surveyed by the NCEA said they were the victims of neglect and over 15 percent were subjected to physical abuse. A 2010 study by the advocacy group found that 47 percent participants were abused or neglected by a caregiver.
Steps You Must Take on Behalf of an Older Adult
If you notice an older adult being abused or see the signs of abuse, there are steps you need to take get an older adult out of an abusive situation and help them get justice.
- Call 911 if the injury is serious and notify police if you believe a crime has been committed.
- Notify the administrators of the facility where the abuse occurred.
- Contact Michigan’s Long-term Care Ombudsman and file a formal complaint.
- Get the advice of an elder abuse lawyer.
If a loved one has been the victim of abuse and neglect in a Michigan nursing home, we urge you to contact one of the agencies below and report your suspicions to someone who can investigate.
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (DHS), Adult Protective Services Statewide 24-Hour Hotline: 855-444-3911.
Bureau of Health Services Abuse Hotline: 800-882-6006
Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc.:
Developmental Disabilities: 800-288-5923
Mental Illness: 800-288-5923
Michigan Office of Services to the Aging
611 W. Ottawa, PO Box 30676
Lansing, MI 48909-8176
Department of Consumer and Industry Services
Bureau of Health Systems
Complaint Intake Unit
PO Box 30664
Lansing, MI 48909
How Can an Attorney Help a Nursing Home Abuse Victim?
Victims of elder abuse are often left major injuries and emotional scars from their mistreatment. They rapidly accumulate exorbitant medical expenses that can be a drain on their savings and retirement fund. A person who is victimized in a nursing home has the right to pursue a nursing home for their financial losses and emotional damages.