LANSING (WWJ) – A package of bills has been introduced in the state Senate aimed at stemming what is being described as a growing incidence of elder abuse in Michigan.

“Nearly 80,000 older Michigan citizens are victims of elder abuse, which can be either physical, emotional or financial harm. And, a lot of times it’s people who are caretakers of elders and also, it can happen in other institutions,” said Senator Tonya Schuitmaker of Lawton.

Schuitmaker is the leader of the bi-partisan group that introduced the legislation, which would stiffen the penalties for those convicted of fraud against senior citizens.

“I had a case in my district where an unscrupulous home improvement entity took the older gentleman, who had no family, and bilked him of $100,000 of life savings doing certain home repairs,” Schuitmaker said.

Among the proposed changes is a law allowing seniors in a criminal proceeding to be able to testify by videotape or live feed, so as not to have to confront their alleged abuser in open court. “It’s important that we enhance the laws that we have and make new laws,” said Schuitmaker.

The proposed legislation would also create the equivalent of an Amber Alert for missing seniors, to be dubbed the “Silver Alert”.

Comments (3)
  1. Jill Wrenbeck says:

    I can’t believe my eyes. Schuitmaker herself is guilty of voting in favor of taxing their pensions and now she claims she wants to protect them? Just like she ran on the campaign promise of supporting education then voting to defund while giving business another tax break of $1.7 billion! Join in the efforts to recall this blight on our state government as well as Mr. Rick Snyder Himself on the facebook pages. Here is the exact language on the petition to recall Schuitmaker:

    “Schuitmaker did on May 12, 2011 vote in in favor of (House Bill) 4361 … which will mean a tax reduction of up to ($)1.78 billion per year for business taxpayers while at the same time imposing an estimated ($)330 million in new taxes upon the pensions of individual Michigan residents. The senator’s vote also prevented the income tax (percent) rate from being reduced to 4.35 (percent) during 2012.”

  2. Laurie says:


    21 Days ago Our 74 yr old Dad was dumped in a nursing home and has been isolated from all outside contact from his POA .The POA has refused even letting us visit our father on CHRISTMAS!

    He has 5 loving caring capable children who have been banned from calling or seeing him through his POA

    What kind of a flawed system allows for a POA to abuse and neglect the elderly?

    What kind of a monster refuses to allow a sick person contact from those who love him?

    The nursing home has been very supportive to us his children and have suggested we seek legal help
    The director of the nursing home stated to me “In my 13 yrs here I have seen mots of different dynamics but nothing like this I am so sorry your are going through this but my hands are tied through the POA” (Below is a recording of one of these conversations)

    Any of his 5 children would be happy &capable of caring for our father in our home however his POA has complete control and we are helpless!

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