Cartwright Introduces Legislation to Protect Seniors
Washington – Today U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright announced the introduction of the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act. Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
The Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act would expand the federal definition of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The legislation would also incorporate elder abuse prevention trainings, screenings, and reporting protocols into all senior service access points receiving federal dollars under this bill.
“I am honored to work with Senator Blumenthal to address elder abuse, a serious and ongoing issue,” said Cartwright. “We have a shared responsibility to ensure the security of our seniors. No senior should have to worry about his or her safety.”
“As a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and former Attorney General of Connecticut, I have seen heinous examples of senior citizens suffering at the hands of exploitive caretakers,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “We must act now to address this pressing issue, which is why I introduced the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act (S. 1019) earlier this year. The seniors who spent a lifetime working to make our country stronger deserve peace of mind that their retirement years will not be marked by suffering. I welcome Congressman Cartwright to this important fight, and I look forward to working with him to protect our seniors.”
Every year, an estimated 14.1 percent of all non-institutionalized older adults have experiences of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. Yet, for every case reported, another 23 cases of abuse go unnoticed.
“Elder abuse is a significant, national problem, and Representative Cartwright’s Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act provides important resources to address this issue,” said Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director of the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC). “NSCLC is proud to support this bill which will help ensure the safety and well-being of our nation’s older adults.”
Several organizations including the Alliance for Retired Americans, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), American Society on Aging, Elder Justice Coalition, LeadingAge, National Council on Aging, National Grange, the above National Senior Citizens Law Center, and The Senior Citizens League have endorsed the bill.
“By amending the existing structure of the Older Americans Act (OAA), the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act provides for better incorporation of elder justice activities into senior services and state planning, strengthens the definitions for elder abuse, elder justice, and defines senior financial exploitation and adult protective services for the first time in OAA. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is proud to support EPAPA, and we look forward to working with our allies in Congress to advance this important legislation,” said AFA President Carol Steinberg.