Special Committee on Aging Hearing - November 2016

Lawmakers know the adult guardianship system is broken. As many states work to reform their guardianship statutes, the federal government has begun to strengthen protection for seniors. Please urge your representatives to support any legislation, like S.3669, which will improve the system. Also understand that, even with changes in law, there needs to be a change in practice. That will require leadership from the good judges and court agents.

S.3669, Guardianship Accountability Act

Introduced November 28, 2018. The purpose is to assist States in improving guardianship oversight and data collection. More specifically, it will require states report census and assets under guardianship to the Elder Justice Coordinating Council. Elder Dignity provided commentary on it.

H.R.3758, Senior Safe Act

Signed into law May 24, 2018. The purpose is to provide immunity from suit for certain individuals who disclose potential examples of financial exploitation of senior citizens, and for other purposes. The bill was incorporated into S.2155: Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act which was enacted. As AARP described, "The measure enlists financial institutions as allies in the fight against financial abuse of older adults by allowing banks, credit unions, investment advisers and brokers to report suspected fraud to law enforcement without fear of being sued, as long as they have trained their employees in how to detect suspicious activity." On May 23, 2019, SEC, NASAA, and FINRA issued a Senior Safe Act Fact Sheet to help promote greater reporting of suspected senior financial exploitation.

S.178, Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act

Signed into law October 18, 2017. The purpose is to establish requirements for the Department of Justice (DOJ) with respect to investigating and prosecuting elder abuse crimes and enforcing elder abuse laws. Specifically, 96 Elder Justice Coordinators were appointed nationwide in federal judicial districts and at DOJ to prosecute 50-plus financial exploitation, including those under guardianship. DOJ must also implement comprehensive training for FBI agents, and establish a working group to provide policy advice.

S.192, Older Americans Act Reauthorization

Signed into law April 19, 2016. This bill amends the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA), with respect to the Administration on Aging, to require the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs to collect and analyze best practices related to responding to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation in long-term care facilities, and publish a report on them.

If you have questions/comments, email elderdignity(at)hotmail.com or call 212-901-6913.