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Michigan AG Nessel, Supreme Court Justices Bernstein and Cavanagh Kick Off Elder Abuse Listening Tour in Grand Rapids

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Supreme Court Justices Megan Cavanagh and Richard Bernstein are embarking on a 10-community Elder Abuse Listening Tour to hear from Michigan’s seniors on the often unrecognized and unreported issue of elder abuse.

The listening tour kicks off in Grand Rapids this Friday at the Kent County Probate Court from 1-3 p.m. with a brief overview of the Attorney General’s new Elder Abuse Task Force and the roles of the Attorney General’s Office and the Michigan Supreme Court when it comes to combating elder abuse in the state, followed by an opportunity for people to tell their own stories.

More than 73,000 older adults in Michigan are victims of elder abuse. They experience physical abuse, financial exploitation, emotional abuse, or neglect.

“This listening tour is about providing a voice to those who don’t often have a chance to speak up and speak out,” Nessel said. “We want to hear directly from our state’s seniors about the issues and challenges they face so we can make certain our new task force is prepared to properly address the troubling issue of elder abuse.”

Seniors and advocates alike will have an opportunity to provide feedback and offer comments to help the task force identify additional issues it should address to better protect Michigan’s seniors.

“As part of this Elder Abuse Task Force, our Court aims to ensure that the guardianship system is operating as it should, and institute reforms where necessary,” said Justice Megan K. Cavanagh. “Public input is critical to make sure we get the job done right.”

The Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Task Force is made up of nearly 50 different organizations including law enforcement, state agencies, the Michigan House, Senate and Congressional delegation, and advocacy groups. The task force has already established nine initiatives and expect more to be identified from the listening tour.

“As a Justice, listening is our most critical responsibility,” said Justice Richard H. Bernstein. “By listening, we can better understand public concerns and do a better job developing reforms that will make a difference in people’s lives.”

The tour will continue in Traverse City, making a stop at the Traverse Area District Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, June 21.

To learn more about the Elder Abuse Task Force or to see the current list of listening tour stops, visit Tour stops scheduled to-date, include:

  • Benton Harbor – 10 a.m. Monday, July 8 at the Berrien County Health Department
  • Kalamazoo – 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 9 at the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home
  • New Baltimore – 9 a.m. Monday, July 22 at the 42nd District Court
  • Ann Arbor – 2:30 p.m. Monday, July 22 at Washtenaw Community College
  • Farmington – 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 23 at the Farmington Community Library