New Reporting System for Elder Abuse Seeks to Better Document Cases

The State of Michigan is rolling out a first-ever statewide incident report for elder abuse. The Vulnerable Adult Incident Report was created to help law enforcement and prosecutors identify and prosecute instances of elder and vulnerable adult abuse. Stephen M. Guilliat, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for St. Clair County, said a standardized report like the one being rolled out is overall a good idea. He said that more people would be apt to report elder abuse, especially if there is a confidentiality component to the standardized form. He went on to say that some in the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s office already have specialized training in the prosecution of such cases. The new form identifies important steps for responding law enforcement officers to take if there is suspected abuse to a senior or vulnerable adult whether that abuse is physical, emotional, or financial. The form will help determine if the victim is a vulnerable adult, identify if there has been physical harm, and document injuries, signs of neglect, or financial exploitation.