- General Information
- Victim Services
- Your Safety
Each year hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected, and exploited. Many victims are people who are older, frail, and vulnerable and cannot help themselves and depend on others to meet their most basic needs. Abusers of older adults are both women and men, and may be family members, friends, or “trusted others.”
In Michigan, the Michigan Department of Human Services announced that statewide reporting of vulnerable adult abuse has doubled since 2009. The numbers are reported in fiscal years (FY), not calendar years.
Increased reporting may be due to a number of factors including; increasing population, increasing awareness and statewide training on vulnerable adult abuse.
In general, elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. Legislatures in all 50 states have passed some form of elder abuse prevention laws. Laws and definitions of terms vary considerably from one state to another, but broadly defined, abuse may be:
While one sign does not necessarily indicate abuse, some tell-tale signs that there could be a problem are:
Most importantly, be alert. The suffering is often in silence. If you notice changes in a senior’s personality or behavior, you should start to question what is going on.
In Michigan, if you suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation, call 855-444-3911 any time day or night to make a report. Staff will investigate allegations within 24 hours after the report is received.
Remember, it is not your role to verify that abuse is occurring, only to alert others of your suspicions. Please visit the webpage What If I Suspect Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation? to learn what you should do if you are concerned that someone you know is being abused.