What can private citizens do to assist with the protection of vulnerable adults?
It is often said that the quality of a society can be judged by the way it protects its most vulnerable citizens. Financial exploitation, abuse and/or neglect of a vulnerable adult is a crime, just as child abuse or neglect is a crime. Similar to children who are subjected to abuse and neglect, vulnerable adults are often not able to report the crime or extricate themselves from the situation they are in.
Citizens who suspect that a vulnerable adult is being neglected, abused, or financially exploited should report the matter to law enforcement and make a report to Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at 844-880-1574.
Abuse or neglect may be at the hands of a family member who has accepted the responsibility to provide care for the vulnerable adult, or at the hands of a professional caregiver who cares for the vulnerable adult. A not uncommon example of financial exploitation involves an unemployed adult child living with an elderly, mentally or physically impaired parent, who uses the parent’s money for the child’s own purposes, such as to feed a drug or alcohol addiction, while failing to pay the necessary expenses of the parent.

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1. When does the County Attorney’s Office become involved with adult protection matters?
2. What is a vulnerable adult?
3. What kind of judicial action can be taken to protect vulnerable adults?
4. Can private individuals file their own guardianship/conservatorship petitions, without the involvement of the County Attorney’s Office?
5. What can private citizens do to assist with the protection of vulnerable adults?