The Committee report, issued in June, notes that “this program, as established in the Elder Justice Act, will provide competitive grants to States to test and evaluate innovative approaches to preventing and responding to elder abuse.” The March 2011 Committee on Aging hearing included poignant testimony by legendary performer Mickey Rooney, who shared his painful account of abuse at the hands of a family member.His story captured the difficulties many older adults face when confronted by abuse that they do not fully understand and lack the ability to confront.
One of the most popular programs under the OAA is the Meals on Wheels program, which provides a homebound older adult with a hot meal delivered to their doorstep. The Elder Justice Act, included within the Affordable Care Act, authorized funding for state Adult Protective Services (APS) programs and also called for federal coordination of elder abuse prevention activities.
The OAA also requires the Administration on Aging (AOA) to administer formula grants to state agencies on aging for elder abuse awareness and prevention activities, and lays out the AOA’s responsibility to provide leadership, disseminate information, collect data, and support research in the elder justice arena (Older Americans Act, 42 U. One of the centerpieces of this new law is that it mandates the creation of a Federal Elder Justice Coordinating Council that will include the heads of key agencies.
Although two staff observed “white things” in her sputum and near her tracheostomy collar, it was not until the following morning that a staff member checked her mouth, finding maggots.
The maggots had created a partial airway obstruction, causing her to suffer from an abnormal blood oxygen level and labored breathing.
As a nation, our response is disjointed and the minimal federal investment—$11.7 million—is spread sparsely across eight agencies and two departments, with little to no coordination.
An Investors Protection Trust 2010 survey found that one in five Americans older than age 65 had been defrauded (, 2011).
“Elder abuse comes in many different forms—physical abuse, emotional abuse, or financial abuse,” Rooney said. Many times, sadly, as with my situation, the elder abuse involves a family member. You’re afraid, but you’re also thinking about your other family members.
When that happens, you feel scared, disappointed, angry, and you can’t believe this is happening to you. You’re thinking about the potential criticism of your family and friends.
One key and realistic near-term goal is passage of Senator Kohl’s Elder Abuse Victims Act (S. The Act would establish an Office of Elder Justice within the Department of Justice to bring its expertise together with the experience of prosecutors working at state and local levels to develop protocols, training standards, and technical assistance for law enforcement and courts dealing with victims of elder abuse.