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August 2022 Newsletter
August 2022, Issue 8
Thank you for your continued interest in Michigan’s Elder Abuse Task Force – an alliance representing more than 55 different organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors – all working together to reduce barriers facing our aging population.
In this issue, you will learn about the partnership that represents a major accomplishment for our second set of initiatives. We also have a new complaint system that will allow nursing home employees to report suspected financial exploitation. And our library of educational videos remains a valuable resource for anyone who prefers an audio/visual format to review the important knowledge presented at our symposiums, as well as all the consequential ways we protect and advocate for vulnerable adults.
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In June Attorney General Nessel again testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee in support of the four-bill package (HB 4847 – HB 4050). The bills accomplish the remainder of the Task Force’s First Initiatives, and were voted out of the House’s Judicial Committee, and are now with the full House. We look forward to the House voting on the legislation and it moving to the Senate.
Second and Third Initiatives
With the late July announcement of a Complaint Initiative to Protect Vulnerable Adults in Nursing Homes, the Task Force has taken a major step in accomplishing initiative #10 in the Set of Second Initiatives:
10. Refresh partnership with Social Security Administration to identify instances of embezzlement from vulnerable adults in nursing homes. Send letters to all nursing homes soliciting information on suspicious financial activity, i.e., known resident income coupled with history of non-payment. Take appropriate enforcement action.
The remaining initiatives in the Set of Second Initiatives are legislative and the Task Force does not wish to take emphasis away from the first bill package (HB 4847 – HB 4050). So, while waiting for the legislature to act, the Task Force is announcing significant progress on their Set of Third Initiatives.
Many of the educational resources were debuted during the May and June symposiums attending by several hundred live participants, and which remain available on the Attorney General’s website. The resources include:
- Adult Protective Services, May part 1 and June part 2.
- The Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman, May part 1 and June part 2.
- Resources for Members of the Public Interested in Protecting Older Adults
- Community Resources for Survivors of Elder Abuse
- How to Avoid Guardianship and Conservatorships
- Identifying Vulnerable Adults and Spotting Signs of Financial Exploitation
- Elder Abuse Awareness and Scam Prevention
- Scams Targeting Seniors
A new feature on the Attorney General’s website allows for a search of videos by keyword, category, or topic.
Relatively new to the website include Resident Rights in Nursing Homes Resident Rights; Adult Foster Care Homes Resident Rights, Home for the Aged Resident Rights, and Elder Justice Multi-Disciplinary Teams videos.
A key educational resources still being developed is comprehensive education and resources for investigators and prosecutors on best practices to pursue cases of financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.
The Task Force anticipates making these resource available through videos and in-person training for law enforcement and prosecutors. The expected release date is early November.
The task force anticipates it will debut by early next year a new electronic elder financial exploitation/patient abuse complaint form and video instructions.
We also expect to produce a more detailed video helping lawyers and other professionals package financial exploitation complaints that are more likely to compel law enforcement to investigate cases.
Nursing Homes Complaints
In an effort to better protect vulnerable adults in nursing homes, the Department of Attorney General launched a new complaint system that creates a direct line between the Department and facility administrators who may notice warning signs of financial exploitation.
The new portal is now live and focuses on the tenth initiative in the Elder Abuse Task Force’s (EATF) second set of initiatives. Nursing home administrators will provide information directly to the Department’s Health Care Fraud Division for follow up and investigation.
If concerned staff knows or has reason to believe that someone is using a nursing home resident's assets or benefits for purposes other than the care, needs and wishes of the resident, a complaint may be filed online.