Elder abuse is a growing problem. Whether it is perpetrated in the home or long-term care setting, seniors are reluctant to seek help. This week the Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at Jewish Senior Life in metropolitan Detroit , Mich., opened its doors provide a haven for older adults to seek shelter and assistance.
In 2014, Michigan Adult Protective Services investigated 13,511 cases of elder abuse complaints. That number, however, doesn’t reflect the true need because many cases are not reported to the agency. Jewish Senior Life, a nonprofit organization, provides shelter to victims of abuse among four retirement properties it runs in the Oakland County area.
The Center enables victims to live anonymously among other older adults at no charge until they can find suitable housing or can return home. “What an older adult needs is not necessarily the same as a domestic violence shelter or safe house,” says Rochelle Upfal, CEO of Jewish Senior Life in a Detroit News article. “For us, it is using our existing retirement community where they have access to safe housing and a social worker,” she explains.
Seniors in elder abuse situations are advised to:
- To call 911 or local police if danger is immediate
- Call an elder abuse shelter
- Report the incident to authorities.