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Is talking to loud to an 94 year old deaf lady considered abuse?

South Bend, IN |
Filed under: Elder abuse

This lady is my mother in law and she is in a nursing home. Her room mate is also hard of hearing so you have to speak loudly for them to hear you. I was accused of abusive behavior because I was talking loud enough for them to hear me over the TV. I am really upset over this. I have taken care of my mother in law for over 4 years and I would never hurt her. Please tell me what to do.

I have not been banned from the nursing home. No I wasn't saying anything mean or nasty. My mother in law suffers from sever dementia. She was asking me when she could come home and she was wanting me to say that I was going to take care of her when she is released. She was crying and I was asking her why she was crying. She said: I don't know. So I was tell her if she didn't know why she was crying then she didn't have to cry. I was not bulling her or badgering her in anyway. I love this lady and would never do anything to hurt her. Please, tell me if this is abuse. If it is I will never say anything about her crying anymore. I do not ever want to hurt her. Thank you and God Bless

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    I don't see a legal situation here. What damages were sustained by the roommate? I would calmly explain what happened to the administration and hopefully they will chalk it up to a misunderstanding.

  2. Well, first of all, I'm not sure what the repercussions of such an accusation might be (for example, are they banning you from the nursing home)--so, you might want to consider hiring an attorney. But, to answer your initial question, I would think that, in such a case, the words that come out of your mouth, rather than the decibel level of your voice, is what is important in determining if such behavior is considered abusive. Thus, assuming that you were just trying to have a normal conversation with your mother-in-law (like, asking her what she wants for dinner), as opposed to spewing nasty words at her, then, based on the limited facts that you have provided, it would be safe to say that talking loudly to a ninety-four-year-old "deaf" person should not be considered abusive.

  3. The decibel level of your talking alone is not abuse. Especially given the circumstances you described.

    Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at

  4. Call the nursing home director to discuss.

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