The Department of Human Services has officially unveiled the new Michigan Model Vulnerable Adult Protocol, or MI–MVP.
The new protocol becomes the standard for the joint investigation of vulnerable adult abuse, neglect and exploitation statewide. Elder abuse and adult victimization is on the rise across Michigan. In 2012 alone, Adult Protective Services received 25,000 referrals alleging abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Those instances don’t take into account contacts made by law enforcement, emergency medical services, and other organizations that don’t report directly to the APS.
“Seniors, a lot of times, are afraid to report things because of retaliation. Which is against resident rights to be retaliated against. But exploitation, I see it sometimes with family members. They don’t want to give mom or dad the money that they should have and the residents don’t want to report it, but it is a reportable offense. I try to get the residents to trust me enough to try and fix that for them,” noted Connie Grahovac, the Ombudsman for the Upper Peninsula.
MI–MVP says it will help local communities protect and serve older and vulnerable persons through increased communication between agencies.
One program that allows for that type of collaboration is TRIAD, which combines the AARP, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriffs’ Association. They meet once a month to discuss and reconcile issues in the elder community
“Seniors are very shy, quiet. They are afraid to come forward with stuff that happened to them. So we put on conferences like this to make them aware that there are services available. They can come to us and we will help them in every way we can,” explained Bob Teddy, Baraga County Sheriff for the past 26 years.
To view the new MI-MVP protocol in its entirety, visit www.michigan.gov/documents/dhs/DHS-Pub-269_423962_7.pdf.