Reporting Elder Abuse

Make a Report Now

Call the Centralized Intake Unit at 855-444-3911 (toll free).

When Should You Report?

You should report if you suspect or have reasonable cause to believe that physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation has occurred. A report does not have to be based on eyewitness accounts, incriminating statements, or definite proof of abuse. If you suspect elder abuse, you should make a report.

Who is Required to Report?

Any person can make a report. Certain individuals are required by law to report suspected abuse. This includes anyone who is:

  • Employed, licensed, registered, or certified to provide health care, education, social welfare, mental health, and other human services
  • Employees of an agency that is licensed to provide such services
  • Physicians
  • Employees of the county medical examiner’s office
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Adult Day Care Providers

How is the Report Made?

You can report suspected abuse by calling the Adult Protective Services (APS) statewide Centralized Intake Unit: 855-444-3911 (toll free). The Intake Unit operates 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. A written report may be submitted at the discretion of the reporting person but is not required. In Genesee County, a report can also be made by calling the Genesee County Sheriff’s Elder Abuse Unit at 810-257-3422.

Please note: Calling the Sheriff’s Department does not meet mandated reporter requirements. You must contact the APS Centralized Intake to meet your mandate.

What is the Penalty for Not Reporting Elder Abuse?

If someone is a mandatory reporter and fails to make a report to APS, that person may be sued for damages caused by the failure to report. They also may be liable for a civil fine of $500.

What is the Role of Law Enforcement in an APS Investigation?

Upon request by APS, local law enforcement officers are required to cooperate in an investigation of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation. If the APS worker is denied entry to the suspected victim’s residence for an interview, APS may request the law enforcement agency to seek a search warrant.

Source: Legal Authority: Act 519, Public Acts of 1982; MCL 400.11

If you suspect an elderly person of being abused, neglected, or exploited and the person is a resident of an adult foster care home (AFC), home for the aged (HFA), or a nursing home, in addition to filing a report with APS you may also take other action, such as filing a complaint with the state agency that regulates the facility:

For a resident in an Adult Foster Care home

Adult Protective Services

If the person suspected of being abused, neglected, or exploited is a resident of an Adult Foster Care Home the APS reporting requirements described in the preceding section should be followed. In addition, the reporter may also file a complaint with the following agencies.

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: Bureau of Community and Health Systems

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is responsible for investigating complaints of violations of the AFC licensing law, rules, and policies. If you suspect an elderly person of being abused, neglected, or exploited, a complaint should be made to:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Bureau of Community and Health Systems
Children and Adult Licensing-Complaint Intake
Unit 611 W. Ottawa, 1st Floor
P.O. Box 30664
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 866-856-0126
Fax: 517-284-9739

A complaint may be completed and submitted online from the LARA website. A complaint form can also be filled in online, then printed and mailed or faxed to the department at the above address. A complaint can also be made by calling the toll free number, 866-856-0126 or, if the complaint involves abuse, neglect, or exploitation, by calling 855-444-3911.

The identity of the person making the complaint is confidential. It is subject to disclosure only with the consent of the person making the complaint, or if the investigation results in an administrative or judicial proceeding.

Office of Recipient Rights

If the person resides in an AFC home that is certified as a specialized program for persons with mental illness or a developmental disability, a complaint should also be made to the Office of Recipient Rights (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services). A complaint also can be made to the Genesee Health System (formerly Community Mental Health) Recipient Rights Officer. The Office of Recipient Rights is responsible for investigating complaints of violations of rights protected under the Mental Health Code and the Department of Health and Human Services rules and policies. A Recipient Rights Complaint Form is available from the Department of Health and Human Services website. It can be completed online. The completed form should be mailed to:

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Recipient Rights
Lewis Cass Building
320 South Walnut Street
Lansing, MI 48933

Or:

Genesee Health System
Recipient Rights Director
420 W. Fifth Avenue
Flint, MI 48503-2494
Phone: 810-257-3710
Toll Free: 877-668-8933

A complaint can also be made by calling the statewide MDHHS-ORR toll free hotline: 800-854-9090

Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman

Phone: 866-485-9393

The Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for the rights of residents in long term care facilities, including adult foster care facilities. The LTCO Program is a project of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative. The Elder Justice Initiative is affiliated with the Michigan Advocacy Program. The LTCO Program will investigate complaints of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and attempt to resolve the matter. The program can also assist residents and their families with information on a wide range of long term care issues, including information on choosing an adult foster care home or other long term care facility.

Department of Attorney General

Phone: 800-242-2873 (800-24-ABUSE)

The Michigan Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Division investigates complaints of abuse and neglect in resident care facilities and complaints of Medicaid provider fraud. A Medicaid Fraud Complaint Form or a Patient Abuse Complaint Form may be filed online from the Attorney General’s website. Copies of supporting documents can be mailed, e-mailed, or faxed to:

Department of Attorney General
Health Care Fraud Division
P.O. Box 30218
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-6515 or 517-241-1029
Email: hcf@michigan.gov

Or:

Genesee County Sheriff’s Department: Elder Abuse Unit
Phone: 810-257-3422 (Radio Room)

For a resident in a Nursing Home

Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) investigates complaints of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of nursing home residents that involve violations of federal or state nursing home laws and regulations. A person who suspects abuse, neglect, or exploitation may make a verbal complaint or a written complaint to:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Bureau of Community and Health Systems-Health Facility Complaints
P.O. Box 30664
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 800-882-6006
Fax: 517-335-7167

A Health Facility Complaint Form can be completed and submitted online at the Department’s website. A complaint form can also be filled in online, then printed and mailed, emailed, or faxed to the Department. A complaint can also be made by calling the toll-free Complaint Hotline. The hotline is accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, but is not staffed at a 24/7 level. The hotline staff must identify priority complaints and initiate a response within 24 hours after receipt. A priority complaint is one that alleges an existing situation that involves physical, mental, or emotional abuse, mistreatment, or harmful neglect of a resident that requires immediate corrective action to prevent serious injury, serious harm, serious impairment, or death of a resident while receiving care in a nursing home. LARA is required to assist a person who makes a verbal complaint to the toll-free consumer complaint line in reducing the complaint to writing.

The identity of the person making the complaint is confidential, subject to disclosure only with the consent of that person or if the investigation results in an administrative or judicial proceeding.

Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman

Phone: 866-485-9393

The Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for the rights of residents in long term care facilities, including nursing homes. The LTCO Program is a project of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative. The Elder Justice Initiative is affiliated with the Michigan Advocacy Program. The LTCO Program will investigate complaints of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and attempt to resolve the matter. The program can also assist residents and their families with information on a wide range of long term care issues, including information on choosing a nursing home or other long term care facility.

Adult Protective Services

If a person residing in a nursing home is subjected to abuse, neglect or exploitation by someone outside the facility, such as a family member or former caregiver, the APS reporting requirements described in the preceding section should be followed.

Department of Attorney General

Phone: 800-242-2873 (800-24-ABUSE)

The Michigan Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Division investigates complaints of abuse and neglect in resident care facilities and complaints of Medicaid provider fraud. A Medicaid Fraud Complaint Form or a Patient Abuse Complaint Form may be filed online from the Attorney General’s website. Copies of supporting documents can be mailed, e-mailed, or faxed to:

Health Care Fraud Division
P.O. Box 30218
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-6515 or 517-241-1029
Email: hcf@michigan.gov

Or:

Genesee County Sheriff’s Department: Elder Abuse Unit
Phone: 810-257-3422 (Radio Room)

For a resident in a Home for the Aged

Adult Protective Services

If the person suspected of being abused, neglected, or exploited is a resident of a Home for the Aged the APS reporting requirements described in the preceding section should be followed. In addition, the reporter may also file a complaint with the following agencies.

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: Bureau of Community and Health Systems

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is responsible for investigating complaints of violations of the Home for the Aged licensing law, rules, and policies. A complaint should be made to:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Bureau of Community and Health Systems
Children and Adult Licensing-Complaint Intake
611 W. Ottawa, 1st Floor
P.O. Box 30664
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 866-856-0126
Fax: 517-284-9739

A complaint may be completed and submitted online from the LARA website. A complaint form can also be filled in online, then printed and mailed or faxed to the Department at the above address. A complaint can also be made by calling the toll free number, 866-856-0126 or, if the complaint involves abuse, neglect, or exploitation, by calling 855-444-3911.

The identity of the person making the complaint is confidential, subject to disclosure only with the consent of that person or if the investigation results in an administrative or judicial proceeding.

Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman

Phone: 866-485-9393

The Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for the rights of residents in long term care facilities, including homes for the aged. The LTCO Program is a project of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative. The Elder Justice Initiative is affiliated with the Michigan Advocacy Program. The LTCO Program will investigate complaints of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and attempt to resolve the matter. The program can also assist residents and their families with information on a wide range of long term care issues, including information on choosing a home for the aged or other long term care facility.

Department of Attorney General

Phone: 800-242-2873 (800-24-ABUSE)

The Michigan Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Division investigates complaints of abuse and neglect in resident care facilities and complaints of Medicaid provider fraud. A Medicaid Fraud Complaint Form or a Patient Abuse Complaint Form may be filed on line from the Attorney General’s website. Copies of supporting documents can be mailed, e-mailed, or faxed to:

Department of Attorney General
Health Care Fraud Division
P.O. Box 30218
Lansing, MI 48909
FAX 517-241-6515 or 517-241-1029
Email: hcf@michigan.gov

Or:

Genesee County Sheriff’s Department: Elder Abuse Unit
Phone: 810-257-3422 (Radio Room)

Note Regarding Assisted Living Facilities and Board and Care Homes

The term assisted living facility is not a licensing category under Michigan law. The licensing categories under Michigan law for facilities that provide care (nursing care, care assistance, or supervision) are nursing homes, homes for the aged, and adult foster care homes. Many facilities that use the term assisted living are licensed as an adult foster care facility or a home for the aged. The distinction between these licensing categories is based on the type of care provided and the number of residents. A facility that designates itself as an assisted living facility that provides personal care or supervised personal care in addition to room and board but is not licensed as an adult foster care facility or home for the aged should be reported to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Bureau of Community and Health Systems for investigation (see the above link “For a resident in an Adult Foster Care home”).

The term “board and care home” is also not a licensing category under Michigan law. A home that designates itself as a board and care home that also provides supervision or care assistance but is not licensed as an adult foster care facility should be reported to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Bureau of Community and Health Systems for investigation (see the above link “For a resident in an Adult Foster Care home”).

Emergency Telephone Numbers

Police Assistance
911

Genesee County Sheriff (radio room)
810-257-3422

Adult Protective Services
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Statewide Centralized Intake Unit (24 hrs/day; 7 days/week)
855-444-3911 (toll free)

Genesee County Adult Services non-emergency contact information:
125 E. Union St., Flint, MI 48502
810-760-2202

YWCA Safe House Crisis Line
810-238-7233 (810-238-SAFE)

National Domestic Violence Helpline
800-799-7233 (800-799-SAFE)

Genesee Health System Crisis Line
(formerly Genesee County Community Mental Health)
810-257-3740
877-346-3648 (toll free)

National Organizations

Eldercare Locator
800-677-1116
www.eldercare.acl.gov

Family Caregiver Alliance
101 Montgomery Street, Ste 2150
San Francisco, CA 94104
800-445-8106
www.caregiver.org

National Center on Elder Abuse
c/o University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
Department of Family Medicine and Geriatrics
1000 S Fremont Avenue, Unit 22, Bldg. A-6
Alhambra, CA 91803
855-500-3537
www.ncea.acl.gov

National Council for Aging Care
1200 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
877-664-6140
www.aginginplace.org

National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life
1245 E. Washington Ave, Suite 150
Madison, WI 53703
608-255-0539
www.ncall.us

Commission on Law and Aging
American Bar Association
1050 Connecticut Ave, N.W. Ste 400
Washington, DC 20036
202-662-8690
www.americanbar.org/aging

National Center for Victims of Crime
2000 M Street, N.W., Suite 480
Washington, DC 20036
202-467-8700
www.victimsofcrime.org

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
1001 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 632
Washington, DC 20036
202-332-2275
www.theconsumervoice.org

National Guardianship Association
174 Crestview Drive
Bellefonte, PA 16823
877-326-5992
www.guardianship.org

Elder Financial Protection Network
17 Keller Street
Petaluma, CA 94952
707-981-8403
www.elderfinancialprotection.org

International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
INPEA Secretariat
The Somers Law Firm
P.O. Box 368
Nassau, NY 12123
518-281-2777
www.inpea.net

US Department of Justice
Elder Justice Initiative
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
202-514-2000
www.justice.gov/elderjustice