June 1, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General commended Governor Gretchen Whitmer for proclaiming June 2021 as Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Awareness Month.
One in ten older adults in the United States experiences abuse, neglect and exploitation. Elder and vulnerable adult abuse often goes unnoticed and unreported. Attorney General Nessel brought together the Elder Abuse Task Force to combat this complex issue.
"Older adults are a particularly vulnerable group, making them susceptible to physical abuse, financial exploitation, emotional abuse and/or neglect. In order to properly protect our senior and vulnerable adult population, we must be able to recognize the signs of abuse," Nessel said. "Our Elder Abuse Task Force has a number of resources available online to help identify mistreatment. During this month - and beyond - I encourage everyone to learn more about how to protect those in need."
"This month, I am proud to partner with the Attorney General and the Department of Health and Human Services to raise awareness of the abuse of older and vulnerable adults here in Michigan," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "The Elder Abuse Task Force has done terrific work, gathering resources that help identify physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of older residents. I encourage all Michiganders, regardless of their age, to educate themselves this month on the often ignored or underreported issue of elder abuse."
"MDHHS is pleased that our Adult Protective Services is able to work hand-in-hand with Attorney General Nessel and Gov. Whitmer to address a serious problem that affects Michigan's aging population and other vulnerable adults," said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. "In June and every month, MDHHS is dedicated to protecting vulnerable adults by investigating complaints of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation and taking action."
The Task Force launched in 2019 and consists of more than 55 different organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sections - all working together to combat elder abuse.
Most recently, Nessel launched The Sentinel Project - an initiative that focuses on protecting vulnerable adults residing in nursing facilities. This initiative uses specially trained staff to examine long-term care facilities for evidence of abuse or neglect through unannounced visits, which are determined by performance metrics, complaints and other data.
If you or someone you know is being abused or neglected in a nursing facility, contact the Michigan Attorney General's Health Care Fraud Hotline at (800) 24-ABUSE (2-2873) or file a complaint online through the Michigan Attorney General Patient Abuse Complaint Form.
For more information on the Elder Abuse Task Force, visit the Task Force's webpage. To report elder abuse, call 855-444-3911.