Bill would create national registry of elder abusers for use by health care providers
The Senior Citizen Protection Act would create a national registry of elder abusers that accredited health care providers and the public could check before hiring employees who will work with seniors.
While some states already have created elder abuse registries, there is currently no nationally-searchable database of the state-level data.
“Families deserve the peace of mind that their loved ones are receiving the best possible care at senior facilities and nursing homes,” said Schneider. “Elder abuse is a crime against some of our most vulnerable citizens. Collecting and cataloging state data on elder abusers and scammers into a nationally-searchable database is a commonsense step to protect our seniors from those who wish to do them harm.”
“Seniors are important members of our society and we must do everything we can to ensure that they can live with dignity and without fear of being abused by those entrusted to care for them,” said Ros-Lehtinen. “There is no excuse for elder abuse and we must not allow those who commit abuse in one state to flee to another and start their terrible practices anew. The bill my colleague, Brad, and I have introduced with support from the Elder Justice Coalition will ensure that our parents, grandparents, and loved ones are looked after by professional caregivers who will give them the treatment and respect they deserve.”
The bill creates a national public, searchable database with information from state registries to identify people found guilty of abuse, neglect, mistreatment, or financial exploitation of Americans over the age of 65.
The bill would also require the Department of Justice to establish guidelines on which states could base their own registries and would provide grants to states to help them implement these registries.
A recent audit by the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that Illinois had the most incidents of nursing home neglect and abuse of the 33 states audited.
The bill is supported by the National Adult Protective Services Association and the Elder Justice Coalition.
“The Elder Justice Coalition is proud to support the Senior Citizen Protection Act,” said Bob Blancato, National Coordinator. “This legislation has the potential to protect millions of vulnerable older adults from being harmed by individuals with histories of elder abuse. We look forward to partnering with Reps. Schneider and Ros-Lehtinen to help this bill swiftly move through the legislative process.”
The text of the legislation is available here.
Full Article & Source:
Reps. Schneider, Ros-Lehtinen Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Seniors from Elder Abuse