The sad truth is that senior citizens are increasingly taken advantage of through scams and varying methods of abuse. They are among the most vulnerable in our society. Throughout the past decade, elder abuse, neglect, and scams have triggered national attention and the need for greater legal action and protection from Congress.
But what exactly is the concept of elder justice, and what is Congress doing about it? We’re discussing all of this below.
What is Elder Justice?
Elder justice is a holistic approach to the prevention and handling of elder abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, and maltreatment of older adults. Each of these are issues that continue to grow; more and more seniors are targeted every year, and therefore, the demand for justice for elders is also growing. One response for elder justice included the establishment of the Elder Justice Coalition to create public awareness, influence legislation for elder justice, and build support for the Elder Justice Act.
What’s Happening in Congress?
Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act – This act, alongside the Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act would take critical steps towards decreasing scams against seniors through educational material, training programs, and data collection. Both of these acts have been recently introduced to the Senate.
Stop Senior Scams Act – Similarly, this bipartisan bill that was recently passed in the Senate is aimed to prevent senior scams through the establishment of an advisory board. The board would be tasked with providing education about elder financial exploitation to retail and financial employees. The bill is now up for consideration by the House.
Senior Abuse Training and Offense Protection (STOP) Act – The STOP Act would increase efforts and activities to identify, prevent, and eliminate elder abuse through a grant program awarded by the Department of Justice. The bill is currently pending in the House.
Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act – This act is now being considered by the House and would authorize $500 million to allow states to create “strike teams.” These teams would assist nursing homes and provide incentives for the facilities to develop specialized COVID-19 units.
Please feel free to reach out to our Home Care Assistance experts for more information on elder abuse and how you can best protect your senior.