Mt. Clemens, MI - Under the direction of the Office of the County Executive, the Macomb County Office of Senior Services has coordinated efforts to address elder abuse in the community through a collaborative task force.
By assembling a team of elder care experts, the goal is to protect elders through education, collaboration and wraparound support. Participants will include representatives from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, local police departments, Adult Protective Services, Legal Aid, senior center directors, senior care providers, the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, the Area Agency on Aging 1-B and Macomb County Community Mental Health.
"By taking a multidisciplinary approach we hope to better address the complex needs of victims and increase awareness amongst professionals as well as the general public," said Sheila Cote, director, Macomb County Senior Services.
73,000 older adults are victims of abuse in Michigan. One in 10 Americans aged 60+ has been a victim of elder abuse. Estimates indicate up to 5 million elders are abused annually. Elder abuse is drastically underreported with estimates that only one in 24 incidents are reported to authorities
“The formation of this task force will assist law enforcement to investigate cases of individuals and groups preying on our seniors,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “We want to make sure we quickly identify and bring these perpetrators to justice.”
The goal is to bring awareness to the community and provide comprehensive support and services to victims. Addressing elder abuse is a shared responsibility. By bringing professionals to the table to address elder abuse, the task force will confront the issue from all angles.
“The Office of Senior Services works directly with the community and it just makes sense that this new initiative is being led by this department, which has a history of working closely with our seniors and is a trusted resource throughout the community,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “Let us all stand together for our seniors to protect their dignity, health and well-being.”
The task force will be valuable for both seniors and caregivers in that it brings a greater understanding of how to protect vulnerable seniors before abuse, neglect or exploitation occurs. The community benefits in terms of increased awareness of the ability to identify potential abuse and how to report it.