The issue of the abuse of elder adults was one that dominated the legislature earlier this year after the Office of Legislative Auditor revealed the Office of Health Facility Complaints failed to investigate thousands of abuse allegations.

Blue Earth County’s Director of Human Services Phil Claussen said hundreds of reports were made in the county and, “The numbers are somewhat stable; there was a dip down in 2016 when 308 reports were made but now we’re back up again in 2017.”

According to the numbers from the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center, there were 425 reports of abuse in Blue Earth County last year. Claussen said, “Sixty-three of those were screened in and investigated – that represents 15 percent – and of those 63 that were screened in 15 were substantiated, 18 were determined inconclusive, and 39 were false. There were also ten that did not meet the criteria for a vulnerable adult.”

The majority, 60 percent, amounted to self-neglect by vulnerable adults. There was one substantiated physical abuse complaint, one of mental or emotional abuse, one of financial exploitation, and two of neglect by a caregiver.