Granholm Recognizes Elder Abuse Awareness Day
June 15, 2006
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed a proclamation today recognizing June 15, 2006 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
"The well-being of Michigan families is dependent on the safety and protection of vulnerable adults," said OSA Director Sharon L. Gire. "Elder abuse is a serious social problem that the State is addressing head-on. Through the Task Force on Elder Abuse, we are working to elevate the issue so that all Michiganians are informed about the signs and risks of elder abuse and report suspected cases to the authorities."
It is estimated that 80,000 Michigan citizens aged 60 and older are victims of elder abuse. By the year 2010, Michigan could be faced with over 100,000 cases of elder abuse given the current increases within the aging population.
Governor Granholm appointed a 17-member Task Force on Elder Abuse in May 2005. The Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) was charged with implementation of the Task Force, which was directed with assisting the state in identifying new resources, best practices, and necessary changes in law, policies, and practices to assist in preventing elder abuse. They are in the final phase of refining recommendations, which will be forwarded to the Governor.
The Michigan Department of Human Services houses the state's Adult Protective Services (APS) program. More than 14,640 referrals were received in calendar year 2005 by the state's APS program, and the APS average caseload nearly doubled from fiscal year 1993 to fiscal year 2005. APS caseworkers are dedicated to ensuring adults in need of protection are living in a safe and stable situation including legal intervention, when required, in the least intrusive or restrictive manner possible.
A toll-free, 24-hour Vulnerable Adult HelpLine is available to report abuse by calling 1-800-996-6228.
"Our APS caseworkers arrange services to reduce or eliminate the abusive or neglectful situation," said Marianne Udow, Director of the Michigan Department of Human Services. "It is important that we make sure all people who are elderly or have disabilities are valued and protected. I urge you to report the suspected abuse or neglect of an older adult or person with a disability by calling the hotline."
For more information about elder abuse or the Governor's Task Force on Elder Abuse, contact the Office of Services to the Aging at (517) 373-8230 or visit www.michigan.gov/miseniors. For more information about Adult Protective Services, visit the Department of Human Services Web site at www.michigan.gov/dhs.