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Is this considered elderly abuse in any way?

Elkhart, IN |

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.
Additional information
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 5


  1. Doesn't sound like abuse to me. If you're not banned from the facility, what's the problem? Write a letter to the nursing home administrator setting out the same facts you put here and document that you did nothing wrong and leave it at that.


  2. I agree that this does not sound like abusive behavior. I suggest that for the time being, you take someone with you when you visit your mother in law. This could be your wife or any other responsible adult. In fact, a non family member would be best as, if necessary, this person would be in a position to verify that you did nothing objectionable during your visit(s). A non family member is less likely to be viewed as a "biased witness." I realize you have to speak loudly, but see what you can do to modulate your tone of voice. Male voices can sound harsh when raised. Remember, the folks in nursing homes are frail and loud voices can be more disturbing to them than to the rest of us. This sounds like a misunderstanding; the more you can do to keep a low profile in the future, the better off you will be. Further, you will continue to be able to visit your mother in law. Good luck.

    Disclaimer: The information contained in this answer is not legal advice, does not establish an attorney-client relationship and is offered for informational purposes only. Individuals with questions or problems in any area of the law should consult a qualified attorney licensed to practice in the individual's jurisdiction.


  3. Im so very sorry to hear about your situation. I can see how emotional about it you feel. It is difficult caring for an elderly person, especially one with dementia. I really have no legal advice for you here. But, as someone who has been in your situation (if I may) I'd just like to give you some emotionally supportive advice: go to the park, take a deep breath, and sit there for a little longer than you feel like you should. Have a few tears, if it comes. Try to remember that everyone (like you) is just trying to do the best they can. Breath deep again and go back to it. BUT, if they continue to harass you, go talk to the administrator. If they really are picking on you needlessly, they are making a bad situation worse--and... you are likely not the only one.


  4. It is common for nursing facilities to accuse any kind of advocate of some form of neglect or abuse so the facility can justify keeping them out of the facility. The facility will say the family member is causing the resident to be upset...

    I would file a complaint with the department of health and protect yourself in the event they attempt to ban you - retaliation can be asserted.

    Good luck.

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