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What can I do about it?

If you suspect elder abuse - report it.  In Michigan, please call 1-855-444-3911.  If you or someone you know is a victim of fraud or a financial scam, call your local law enforcement agency.

How to identify the warning signs of abuse:

1.  Financial Exploitation: 

  • Lack of affordable amenities and comforts in an elder's home.
  • Giving uncharacteristically excessive gifts or financial reimbursment for needed care and companionship.
  • A caregiver has control of an elder's money but fails to provide for the elder's needs.
  • An older adult has signed property transfers (power of attorney or will, for example) but is unable to comprehend what the transaction means.

2.  Physical Abuse:

  • Inadequately explained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores, or burns.
  • Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases.

3.  Neglect:

  • Lack of basic hygiene or appropriate clothing.
  • Lack of food.
  • Lack of medical aids (ie: glasses, walker, dentures, hearing aid, or medications).
  • Person with dementia left unsupervised.
  • Person confined in bed is left without care.
  • Home is cluttered, dirty, or in disrepair.
  • Home lacks adequate faclilites (stove, refridgerator, heating and cooling, plumbing, and electricity).
  • Untreated bed sores or pressure ulcers.

4.  Emotional Abuse:

  • Unexplained or uncharacteristic changes in behavior, such as withdrawal from normal activities, or unexplained changes in alertness.
  • Caregiver isolates the elder (doesn't let anyone in the home or speakt to the elder).
  • Caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling, or uncaring.

Source: Administation on Aging - Year of Elder Abuse Prevention

Working together to identify, advocate, educate, and seek justice for vulnerable adult abuse in Kent County.

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