Elder Abuse Awareness

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email

If a child is being neglected it's much easier for Protective Services to go into the home than it is with an adult.

"The adult world is very different from the child world," said Sgt. Traci Ruiz with the Lansing Police Department. "It's much easier to hide that crime because they'll cancel doctor's appointments, there's not much food in the home -- medications not being distributed."

Sgt. Ruiz is the co-chair of the Elder Death Review Task Force which monitors abuse in those 60 years old and up.

"By us coming together at the table, helps us save resources, time and money," said Sgt. Ruiz.

About 75 percent of all elder abuse cases take place in the home, behind closed doors. Nursing homes like the Senior Care and Rehab Center in Holt do what they can to promote awareness and has a checks and balances system in place to guard against abuse.

Wendy Briggs is the activity director at the Holt Rehab facility and says there is a board made up of interdepartmental members and even residents that investigate any claims of abuse. And awareness is the first step in reporting neglect, which Sgt. Ruiz says is not necessarily on the rise, but the more people know, the more cases the task force investigates.

"The first case we investigated resulted in a homicide."

That case was back in 2007 of 94 year old Margaret Robinson. Police say her caretaker of 16 years, Ira Gudith killed her Gudith was convicted of second degree murder and is currently serving a 15 year sentence. An autopy is what alluded officials to her suspicious death.

"We did the team approach and we had the medical examiner's office on board where they actually did order autopsies and that's where we've been able to determine and find a lot of these crimes, is through the autopsies."

December is the four year anniversary of the task force. The committee meets once a month and is made up of representatives from law enforcement, the attorney general's office, health officials and adult protective services.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jasmine El Mulki Location: Switzerland on Dec 21, 2010 at 11:54 AM
    Increasing efforts are being made to raise awareness of elderly abuse. There are No Excuses for domestic violence or sexual abuse. In january we are launching a global free campaign against domestic violence, including elderly abuse and sexual abuse. The campaign consists of 10 x 30second spots directly speaking to the violent person saying that there are simply NO EXUSES! for such immoral uncivilised beavior. Keep yourself posted on www.chocmoose.com, and ask for a free DVD with the 10 spots on them. We will distribute free DVDs without any restriction in use to any institution, hopsital, TV station, government or non-governmental organisation who wishes to get the message out and make a difference.
  • by Elaine Location: Indiana on Dec 15, 2010 at 12:10 PM
    Here's a big financial abuser of the elderly you left out - Unlawful and abusive guardianships are pauperizing vulnerable, disabled, and elderly people all over this country but the kicker is the abuse is court sanctioned. The result? Because guardianship wards are stripped of all their rights, they don't even have the right to complain. Convicted criminals have more rights than guardianship wards! For more information, visit NASGA at www.StopGuardianAbuse.org, www.AnOpenLetterToCongress.info and http://NASGA-StopGuardianAbuse.blogspot.com. Forewarned is forearmed! Yours, Elaine Renoire NASGA
WILX 500 American Road Lansing, MI 48911 517-393-0110
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 111884479 - wilx.com/a?a=111884479
Gray Television, Inc.