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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 11, 2023 03:20 PM
From: Representative Ann Flood
To: All House members
Subject: The Robert Raph Act
In the near future, I intend to re-introduce legislation that will require the Departments of Health, Human Services, and Aging to communicate on a regular basis to ensure that any reports of elder abuse which are made to any agency listed are placed in the correct location to be properly investigated.  
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. Similarly, The Department of Health receives complaints about skilled nursing facilities and The Department of Human Services receives and investigates complaints about personal care homes and assisted living facilities. With all these agencies in play investigating a different facet of life in long-term care, it can be confusing to the consumer to know where they are supposed to take their complaint.
Where there is confusion, there is miscommunication. Our senior citizens cannot afford our government to have miscommunication when their livelihood is at stake. Sadly, this legislation is inspired by a constituent of mine, Robert Raph, who passed away in a long-term care facility. It is my hope that by acting on this important piece of legislation, all allegations of elder abuse made to an agency with oversight in this field will end up in the proper location and be investigated.
I respectfully ask for you to join me and co-sponsor the Robert Raph Act.

Introduced as HB537