Michigan senior advocates are helming new programs and tougher laws to better protect vulnerable adults and educate the public.
Last fall, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan launched the Michigan Elder Justice and At-Risk Adults Project. Since May 2012, fifteen state laws or amendments have been implemented which focus on the rights and protection of vulnerable adults. Meanwhile, an elder advocate agency based in Southfield has launched the “No Excuse for Elder Abuse” campaign.
The push could not come soon enough; elder abuse in Michigan has been on the increase, say elder care advocates. The Michigan Department of Human Services recently announced during the Michigan Summit on Elder Justice that adult protective services is implementing a system to maintain a consistency of elder abuse investigation cases from the start to the conclusion. The Michigan DHS received more than 25,000 alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation reports of seniors in 2012; the number of cases is expected to top 30,000 by the end of 2013.
If you suspect a case of elder abuse or neglect, speak up. You do not have to know definitively that abuse is occurring. You simply need to let authorities step in to investigate and ensure the safety and well-being of the elderly in their community.
Christopher J. Berry is a Michigan estate planning attorney and Medicaid planning lawyer dedicated to helping seniors, veterans and their families navigate the long-term care maze. To learn more visit http://www.theeldercarefirm.com/ or call 248.481.4000