Types of Abuse:

  • Physical abuse causes bodily harm by hitting, pushing, or slapping. This type of abuse can be denying a vulnerable adult enough food/water, medications or assistive devices like a cane, walker, hearing aids and glasses. Giving a vulnerable adult unnecessary tranquilizers/sleeping pills, confining the person to a room or restraining him/her to a bed or wheelchair is physical abuse.
  • Emotional abuse, sometimes called psychological abuse, can include a person saying hurtful words, yelling, threatening, humiliating or repeatedly ignoring the vulnerable adult. 
  • Neglect occurs when a caregiver does not respond to a vulnerable adult’s needs. For instance providing clothing inappropriate for weather conditions, not assisting with basic hygiene or access to medical care. Neglect can be environmental like a home that is dirty, in need of repairs, has fire and other safety hazards does not have utilities, working plumbing or heating/cooling.
  • Abandonment is leaving a vulnerable adult alone without planning for his/her care.
  • Sexual abuse involves a caregiver forcing a vulnerable adult to watch or be part of sexual acts.
  • Financial abuse happens when money or belongings are stolen. It can include forging checks, taking retirement or Social Security benefits, or using a person’s credit cards and bank accounts. It also includes changing names on a will, bank account, life insurance policy, or title to a house without permission from the vulnerable adult. 
  • Healthcare fraud can be committed by doctors, hospital staff, and other healthcare workers. It includes overcharging, billing twice for the same service, falsifying Medicaid or Medicare claims, or charging for care that wasn’t provided. 
  • Scams are dishonest schemes performed by a dishonest individual, group, or company in an attempt to obtain money or something else of value.

Signs That Someone May Be Experiencing Elder Abuse:

  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Seems depressed or confused
  • Makes excuses for abuser
  • Weight loss for no reason
  • Displays signs of trauma, like rocking back and forth
  • Acts agitated, violent, or defensive
  • Becomes withdrawn
  • Stops taking part in activities he/she enjoys, isolation
  • Have unexplained bruises, burns, scars, or fractures
  • Looks messy, with unwashed hair, body or dirty clothes
  • Develops bed sores or other preventable conditions

Who Can Help?

Adult Protective Services investigators protect vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect and exploitation by coordinating with mental health, public health, law enforcement, the probate courts, the aging network, community groups and the general public. 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. 
State Long-Term Care Ombudsman strives to improve the quality of care and quality of life experienced by residents who reside in licensed long term care facilities. Licensed long term care facilities are nursing homes, homes for the aged, and adult foster care homes. Ombudsmen advocate for the resident in the facilities, guided by the wishes of the resident.  All services are provided under strict confidentiality. 866-485-9393 
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan (LSEM) delivers free legal help in 14 Mid-Michigan counties, Arenac, Bay, Clare, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, St. Clair, and Tuscola. LSEM offers service from three offices, one in Flint, which also serves as the administrative office, one in Saginaw, and one in Port Huron. LSEM also provides home visits to the homebound and elderly. 1-888-783-8190
Genesee County Elder Abuse Task Force utilizes specially trained Investigators, Prosecutors, and Social-Workers under the direction of the Probate Court are dedicated to investigating and prosecuting allegations involving local seniors.  If you suspect elder abuse or exploitation please call 810-257-3422.
Michigan Attorney General ELDER ABUSE TASK FORCE 800-24-ABUSE (22873) or email mi.gov/elderabuse     The information contained on this webpage is for information purposes only. This information is provided by Valley Area on Aging and while we endeavor to keep this information up to date and correct, we make no representations of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability of shared information. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Learn more about defining fraud, wate, and abuse.