Vulnerable Adults Rights May Be Getting Ignored Because of Their Disabilities

Vulnerable Residents Are Owed Protection

          Mom is in an assisted living facility to help her with her dementia and is a “vulnerable person” under the law (MCL 400.11(f).)  Late one night, the staff in the home finds another resident in her room attempting to engage in sex with mom.  The other resident is also a vulnerable person, so the staff chooses to separate them, return him to his room, and do nothing.  Both residents are vulnerable people no harm was done, or was there?

          Under MCL 400.11(a) or (c) the answer is probably yes.  One, or both, of these vulnerable adults may be considered abused or exploited, and certainly, the staff at the assisted living facility would be considered mandatory reporters. 

          MCL 333.21771 is specific as to the reporting requirements, and the staff’s failure to do so is in violation of this law.  This reporting must be done in as soon as two-hours, but no more than 24 hours.

          The staff may be under the belief that because both parties are suffering from dementia, no one can be held accountable.  That is not the case.  The assisted living facility has the duty to protect both of the adults, and failing to do so creates a liability for which it can be held liable. 

         Failure to fully understand the duty owed to the residents and the liability can prove costly to the assisted living facility.  More importantly, it deprives the residents of their safety and dignity when they are most vulnerable.

         Was the facility negligent in taking in the resident if her care requirements could not be met by the facility?  Did the facility have adequate procedures, and systems to monitor the residents?  Was the staff properly trained?

         If you have questions regarding the care of your loved one, contact the Anderson Law Firm for a free consultation at

Anderson Law Firm, PLC
PO Box 100
Milford, MI  48381

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