Brown County Browser: Protecting vulnerable adults

Are you concerned about an elderly individual who does not seem to be able to care for themselves anymore? Do you know of a vulnerable adult who is being financially exploited by someone else? What can you do?

There is a statewide system in place that is available for anyone to make a confidential report on a vulnerable adult in Minnesota whom they suspect may be neglected or abused. This central system for reporting maltreatment of vulnerable adults is called the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center or MAARC. There is a toll-free number (1-844-880-1574) for the general public to use and the call center is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The person on the other end of the phone will ask you specific questions about the situation. Based on the report and the location of the individual, MAARC will determine who the lead investigative agency for the report is and send to this agency. If there is a potential for criminal charges, the report will also be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

The types of adult maltreatment may include self-neglect, caregiver neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or financial exploitation. It is the role of the lead investigative agency to review the report and determine if further investigation is needed. In Minnesota, there are two criteria that define a vulnerable adult. The first is a functional vulnerable adult – an adult who has impaired ability (mental, physical or emotional) to provide adequately for his/her own necessary food, shelter, health care or supervision without assistance AND because of this condition has an impaired ability to protect themselves from maltreatment. A categorical vulnerable adult is a resident or inpatient of a facility or someone who receives certain licensed services. It is the role of the lead agency to determine if an individual meets the criteria of a vulnerable adult. It is not the responsibility of the individual making the report.

If the result of an investigation shows an individual is in need of protection, the lead agency is responsible for making a plan to keep this individual safe. Minnesota strives to ensure safe environments and services for vulnerable adults and encourages reporting of suspected maltreatment. A vulnerable person could be the last person you’d think. You could be the difference.

Election Update

From the Office of Jean Prochniak, Brown County Auditor-Treasurer

Election judges are the guardians of our democracy! The Auditor-Treasurer’s office has begun the process of training election judges for the 2018 primary/general elections. At the time of this publication, two sessions will have been held at the county courthouse with two remaining the week of July 9. If you have not registered for a class, please do so as soon as possible so that we can reserve a spot for you.

With the introduction of new election equipment, we are planning on having training and practice sessions scheduled for election judges that will be in charge of registering new voters and maintaining the roster of voters coming into the polling place. If you are interested in being trained on these devices you are encouraged to contact my office at 507-233-6613 to be notified of the training dates.

It is our goal to have well trained election judges working in the polling place so that we can create a positive experience to all those who come to the polls to vote.

REMINDER: If you have not registered to vote, please do so before pre-registration closes on July 24, 2018.