Michigan House approves measure to protect senior citizens
The Michigan House today approved a plan introduced by state Rep. Jim Runestad to help protect senior citizens from financial exploitation and abuse.
Runestad’s bill requires law enforcement to investigate for potential financial abuse when investigating neglected abuse cases involving the elderly.
Runestad said elder abuse is a serious crime that is underreported. He worked with several groups to improve his proposal approved by the House.
“Working with the sheriffs, chiefs of police, Attorney General’s office and prosecutors resulted in a process that will now collect accurate data on senior abuse in our police computer reporting systems and will prompt more thorough investigations,” Runestad said.
Approximately one in 10 Americans over age 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse, and only one in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities, according to the National Council on Aging.
“Elder financial abuse is not being recognized as a sign of elder abuse that can be documented and prosecuted,” Runestad said.
House Bill 5813 advances to the Senate for consideration.