by Ron Tatro, Vice President, Administration and Center for Elder Rights Advocacy
Recently, a staff member approached me to advise that there was an older man in our lobby and that I should speak with him. I introduced myself and asked how I could be of assistance. He introduced himself (Dan) and said that he had been to a several organizations and no one would help him. Over the next hour, Dan shared his story through a veil of tears.
In 2012, he and his wife moved to Michigan after selling their home in another state. They moved in with their daughter, her husband, and their children. Dan and his wife both knew that she was dying and that she wanted to spend her final days with their grandchildren. About three months after they relocated his wife died. Dan’s relationship with his family including his son-in-law began to change. Over the next year the family began to ask him for money, took his gun collection, and limited his access to his grandchildren. The son-in-law had assaulted him on two occasions and Dan called the police. When Dan refused to turn his money over to his daughter and her husband they began an eviction process to get him out. When he asked for a postponement of court case, the family attempted to get a personal protection order to get him out of the house. An ELM staff attorney, Darling Garcia, met with Dan on several occasions and assisted him in navigating the court process. Today, Dan is living in a motel until a new housing location opens up.
Recently, I spoke with Dan about how things were going for him. As he spoke about how his life was changing, he kept saying thank you for ELM staff taking the time to help him. We do make a difference in people’s lives.
Ron Tatro is the Vice President & COO for Elder Law of Michigan. Ron works on a wide range of projects including consumer related issues, elder abuse prevention activities, aging and disability issues. He has joined with local, state, and national partners to identify new and creative ways to address aging issues and its impact on older victims of exploitation and abuse.