Senate to Decide on Bill Designed to Support Elder Abuse Prevention Programs
As originally reported by McKnight’s, a new Senate bill could open up federal funds to state-run organizations and programs that strive to protect elders. The Elder Protection and Abuse Protection Act would bolster the Older American Act of 1965 to make it more descriptive and actionable. The bill would change the definition of elder abuse to ensure it covers not only abuse but also neglect and exploitation.
Many of the current elder abuse prevention programs have limited funding. Without funding, the programs do not have the resources required to educate caregivers and support elderly individuals. Since many people remain oblivious to the signs of elder abuse and the reporting process, education is high on the list of needed services. Although caregivers remain on the frontline of protection for elders, program operators also want to set up a comprehensive screening system to help elders without caregiver support. Federal funding support would allow the program directors to create and enact a screening process to identify and assist potentially abused, neglected or exploited elders.
Although the Senate has the ability to enact change that could allow for elder abuse screening, reporting, and support services, the bill has a low chance of actually passing. When given this opportunity to enact change in 2012 and 2013, members of the Senate chose to strike down the bill and let the problem continue at its current rate. Since Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut produced and presented all three bills, the Senate will likely have a similar reaction to the recently proposed bill. Unfortunately, that means abuse against elderly individuals will remain unreported and potentially ignored unless the state-run programs can secure funding from public fundraisers or other government programs.
Individuals in need of assistance from elder abuse attorneys can call Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 328-2630 today for a free consultation. The team focuses on completing cases that can help enact changes that provide protection for senior citizens facing elder abuse, exploitation, and neglect.