Why Elder Justice Now?
Elder justice is the right of every older person to be free of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Beyond the emotional and psychological toll that elder abuse causes the nation’s elderly and their families, there are many other reasons why we need Congress to take action to address this issue now.
- The number of older Americans is growing fast, and so is the problem of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- Those who work on the front lines to prevent, fight and prosecute elder abuse must have far more resources in order to help victims and their families.
- More information sharing is needed about best the best ways to prevent elder abuse and protect America’s elders.
- The capacity of prosecutors to bring elder abuse charges is uneven and must be increased.
- Increased awareness as well as training and education is needed by seniors, their families, caregivers, law enforcement and financial institutions
Victim’s Stories Build the Case for Elder Justice Now
This story from Madalyne Houseman, of Saint Louis, Michigan, is one of many stories collected as part of the Elder Justice Now campaign. Madalyne’s mother suffered neglect and financial abuse by her son and Madalyne had to step in.
To view more stories, click here.
What Would Passing the Elder Justice Act Do?
The Elder Justice Act (S. 795 / H.R. 2006) creates a combined law enforcement and public health approach to study, detect, treat, prosecute and, most importantly, prevent elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Congress is set to act on this legislation, but it has been shelved before.
The Elder Justice Act would:
- Bring elder justice the national attention it needs and deserves.
- Improve the quality, quantity and accessibility of information about elder abuse.
- Increase security, collaboration, and consumer information on Long-Term Care.
- Develop larger forensic capacity and increase prosecution.
- Provide victim assistance, “safe havens,” and support for at-risk elders.
- Provide training to combat elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- Include special programs to support underserved populations including rural, minority and Indian seniors.
- Increase knowledge and support promising projects and study model state laws and practices.
- Ensure evaluation of “what works” and accountability for funds spent.
For more detailed information about the legislation, please visit the Elder Justice Coalition’s website.