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Federal law serves as a foundation of protection of older adults but most enforcement is by state law. The definition of elder abuse, protections, and penalties vary dramatically.
News Channel 3’s article entitled, “Michigan upgrades webform for reporting elder abuse, launches law enforcement training series,” reports on the progress of the Michigan Elder Abuse Task Force to ensure protections for elderly citizens. The updated Michigan webform form is designed for use by residents to report suspected incidents of elder abuse, patient abuse and exploitation.
The form includes sections to identify:
The complaints are then investigated by the Department’s Financial Crimes or Health Care Fraud Division, depending on the details of the allegation. Assistant Attorney General David Tanay leads this division and oversees the Department’s Sentinel Project, which was started in 2021. It uses specially trained staff to examine long-term care facilities for evidence of abuse or neglect through unannounced visits, which performance metrics, complaints and other data will determine.
The Sentinel Project Team recently met with county leaders to discuss how state and county law enforcement agencies can work together to better train and investigate allegations of elder abuse in long-term care facilities.
In addition, a series of proposed bills will help strengthen guardrails to protect the elderly. The legislation, House Bills 4909-4912 and 5047, will, among other things:
Michigan's Elder Abuse Task Force began in 2019. It comprises more than 55 different organizations and more than 100 public, private and nonprofit individuals working together to combat elder abuse.
Michigan elder law attorneys, like Nick Leydorf, work with families to put certain protections into place to ensure elderly people have the services they need and the comforts they have earned. Like patient advocates, elder law attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of our most vulnerable citizens. If you suspect that an elderly person is being abused, use the online webform to report it. To protect your senior loved ones or yourself from abuse or to plan for other issues related to long-term care and security later in life, book a call with Lansing Attorney Nick Leydorf to discuss how to legally establish these securities.