Elder Abuse is a Very Real Threat to Michigan’s Aging Population

March 16, 2018 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Old man pushing wheelchair
Elder abuse, and the abuse of other vulnerable people, is still a problem in Michigan.

As a recent story published in the Lansing State Journal reveals, the issue of elder abuse is still a problem here in Michigan. The abuse of vulnerable people, whether it’s the elderly, children, or the mentally handicapped, is against the law in Michigan, and is usually very seriously prosecuted. In this particular case, we don’t have any details about the charges. But we do know what happened.

An old man in a nursing home complained to his family of abuse

Husein Younes, an 89-year-old Lebanese immigrant staying at Autumnwood of Livonia Nursing Home, told his family that his caregivers were abusive of him. Unsure what to believe, his son Salim installed a hidden camera in his bedside alarm clock and waited a few days before checking the results. He was horrified at what he saw.

In only two days, the camera had captured footage of Younes’ nursing assistants throwing him carelessly into bed, calling him names, talking disparagingly about him within earshot, and  slapping his head. The recording shows his caregiver grabbing his face and telling him loudly and repeatedly to stop making noises. She is also heard telling her coworkers that she hates Younes, and on another occasion, she is heard telling him to ‘shut up’.  

The abusers were fired, but will they face charges?

As soon as Salim saw the footage, he removed his father from the facility. According to a statement made by the family attorney, the abuse of Younes was likely racially motivated. This claim is based partially on the one caregiver’s comment “I hate this A-rab!” and on the fact that one of Younes’ caregivers was previously fired from a similar position in Virginia where she used the ‘N-word’ when talking about a resident.

According to a statement released by the facility, which is located near Detroit, all employees identified in the video have been fired, and remaining employees have been given additional training. One has even been stripped of her certified nursing assistant (CNA) license. But what about criminal charges? Do employees who are physically abusive of the vulnerable adults in their care end up behind bars?

The answer is usually yes!

Vulnerable adults abuse, much like child abuse, is divided into four categories, also called ‘degrees.’ The more serious charge is First Degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse, which is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Fourth Degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse is considered to be the least serious charge, with a penalty of only one year in jail. All charges, however, can result in having your license stripped by the state, which impacts future job prospects.

If you or a loved one have been accused of abusing a vulnerable person, whether a child or an adult, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys, who specialize in both child abuse defense and professional license defense, can help you achieve the most successful outcome possible in your case!