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Michigan man denies abusing his parents

A Michigan man is facing serious criminal charges after authorities claim that his care for his elderly parents was abusive. However, his attorney vehemently denies the accusations. He says his client took good care of his parents, and that the parents, who have been placed in a nursing home, have essentially been kidnapped by police.

Public safety officials entered a motel in the Detroit area, acting on a report made by a former employee. They found a couple living in a room next to the motel’s office. The officials claim that the couple was living in human waste and that the wife, 78, was tied to a chair while lying on the bed.

The couple is the parents of the motel’s owner, who has been charged with two counts of second-degree vulnerable adult abuse. That is a felony, with a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

On the surface, this may seem like an open-and-shut case of elder abuse. But the defendant’s attorney says that the government’s version of events lacks context, and that his client’s parents were never abused.

The defendant says that his parents did not want to live in a nursing home, and that his father, who founded the motel, preferred to live there. To accommodate their wishes, the son and his family helped care for the parents, as did motel employees. They were provided with regular meals, the mother’s diapers were changed and the room was kept clean.

The mother was tied to the chair because she has severe dementia and tends to wander, the defense attorney said. He said that the person who made the complaint had been fired from the motel, possibly suggesting that the report was made in retaliation.

Source: Lansing State Journal, “Michigan motel owner did not tie his elderly parents to bed, attorney says,” Christina Hall, Nov. 26, 2013

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