|Posted:||March 9, 2022 03:29 PM|
|From:||Representative Ann Flood|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Reporting of Older Adult Abuse|
|In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that will require the Department of Health or Department of Human Services to report allegations of older adult abuse to local area agencies on aging and the Department of Aging.
According to a 2017 study, nearly 16% of people over the age of 60 experienced some type of abuse, the most common being neglect, but that number is likely underestimated since only 1 in 24 cases of older adult abuse is reported. Two out of three abuse victims are women. Currently, any allegations of abuse must be investigated by the local area agencies on aging (AAA) within 72 hours of an allegation being made. Allegations of abuse made to the AAA or Department of Aging are required to be communicated to the Department of Health to ensure the alleged abuser is compliant with all regulatory requirements. However, the Department of Health is not required to reciprocate such communication to the Department of Aging if an abuse allegation is brought forth to the Department of Health. This creates confusion in the system, and where there is confusion, there is miscommunication. Our senior citizens cannot afford our government to have miscommunication when their livelihood is at stake.
That is why my legislation will ensure that any report of abuse brought forth to the Department of Health or Department of Human Services must be shared with the Department of Aging and the local AAA for investigation. This legislation will not change current investigatory practices pursuant to the Older Adults Protective Services Act, this legislation simply closes the communications gap that is present between our agencies tasked with protecting our most vulnerable population.
I respectfully ask for your support on this important piece of legislation.
Introduced as HB2425