What Can I Do Legally if a Loved One is Being Abused in A Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility in Michigan?

Understanding the legal options when a loved one faces abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility is crucial. At Bassett Murray Law Group, we empathize with the distress this situation brings to families. This guide outlines the steps you can take in Michigan to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved ones.

The Basics of Elder Abuse Law in Michigan

Elder abuse in care facilities can take various forms, including physical, emotional, financial, and neglect. Michigan law provides specific protections for the elderly, and knowing these can empower you to act swiftly and effectively.

Identifying Signs of Abuse

It’s vital to recognize abuse signs, which may include unexplained injuries, sudden behavioral changes, or unusual financial transactions. Michigan law requires certain professionals to report suspected elder abuse, but family members often play a crucial role in noticing these signs first.

Legal Steps to Take

When you suspect that a loved one is a victim of elder abuse in Michigan, it’s essential to take immediate and appropriate legal steps. These steps help protect your loved one and play a crucial role in building a solid legal case if you decide to pursue legal action. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what you should do:

  1. Report to Adult Protective Services (APS) in Michigan:
    1. APS Involvement: In Michigan, Adult Protective Services is a state-run program that investigates reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults aged 18 and over. They are equipped to handle various types of abuse, including physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and neglect.
    2. How to Report: You can report suspected elder abuse to APS by calling their statewide toll-free hotline. The contact information can be easily found online or through local directories.
    3. What to Include in Your Report: When you call APS, be ready to provide as much information as possible about the suspected abuse. This includes the victim’s name, address, details about the nature of the abuse, and any information about the abuser if known.
  2. Contact the Local Police:  If the situation is urgent and you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, contact the local police. They can intervene quickly to ensure safety. Even if the situation is not an emergency, reporting to the police can be essential. They can document the report and initiate an investigation, which can be crucial for future legal actions.
  3. Documenting Observations:
    1. Record Keeping: Keep a detailed record of all signs and instances of abuse. This can include dates, times, descriptions of physical injuries or emotional changes, and any other relevant observations.
    2. Photographic Evidence: If possible, take photographs of any physical injuries or conditions that indicate neglect or abuse. This visual evidence can be robust in a legal setting.
    3. Witness Statements: If others have witnessed signs of abuse or neglect, their statements can be valuable. Please encourage them to document their observations as well.
  4. Gathering Evidence:
    1. Financial Records: If financial abuse is suspected, gather all relevant financial documents like bank statements, receipts, and any documents showing unusual transactions or changes in financial practices.
    2. Medical Records: Obtain copies of medical records that may indicate abuse or neglect, including doctor’s notes, hospital records, or other medical documents.
    3. Correspondence Records: Keep a record of all communications related to the abuse, including emails, letters, and notes from conversations with care facilities, authorities, or other involved parties.
  5. Consult with an Elder Law Attorney: Our experience in elder law can guide how to proceed legally and help interpret the collected evidence within the context of Michigan law. We can also advise on the rights of the elderly and the best course of action to ensure their safety and well-being.
  6. Follow-up and Advocacy: Keep in touch with APS, the police, and any other agencies involved to stay updated on the investigation’s progress. Continue to advocate for your loved one’s needs and rights throughout the process, ensuring they receive the necessary care and protection.

Guardianship and Advocacy

In some cases, seeking guardianship might be necessary to make decisions on behalf of your loved one. This legal process in Michigan allows you to manage their care and protect them from further abuse.

Your Rights and Resources

You have the right to seek legal recourse if your loved one has been abused. This might include suing the facility for damages or pursuing criminal charges against the abusers. Each case is unique, and our Michigan-based legal team can guide you through your options.

Contact Us,  Bassett Murray Law Group

It’s heartbreaking to see a loved one suffer abuse in a care facility. At Bassett Murray Law Group, we are committed to helping Michigan families overcome these challenging situations. Protecting your loved ones and ensuring their dignity and safety is our priority. If you’re facing this difficult situation, contact us online or at 734-930-9200 in Ann Arbor or 231-427-2292 for our Petoskey office. Let our experienced team provide the guidance and support you need. Contact us online to talk to an elder law attorney in Michigan.


Get to know us better by scheduling an initial consultation where we can discuss your needs.

Bassett Murray Law Group, PLLC
2045 Hogback Road
​Ann Arbor, MI ​48105
Phone: 734-930-9200
Fax: 734-930-9942

Petoskey Office
By Appointment only
3319 Lakeside Dr S
Petoskey, MI 49770
Phone: 231-427-2292

Bassett Murray Law Group, PLLC
2045 Hogback Road
​Ann Arbor, MI ​48105
Phone: 734-930-9200
Fax: 734-930-9942