A bill that would amend the Older Americans Act (OAA) to better protect elders from abuse was introduced to Congress by Sen.Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
Specifically, the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act would establish a National Adult Protective Services Resource Center that would, among other measures, “develop, distribute, and provide training to home care and long-term care professionals and others on recognizing, reporting…and responding to the abuse, neglect (including self-neglect), and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults, including home care consumers and residents of long-term care facilities.”
The Center would also disseminate research and best practices pertaining to effective responses to the abuse of elders and other long-term care consumers.
Another section of the bill would provide funding to states, area agencies on aging, and nonprofit organizations to “research and replicate successful models of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation prevention and training”, such as the caregiver education programs offered by CertifiedCare.org
CertifiedCare’s Primary Family and Professional Personal Care Aide (PCA) education programs serve as a foundation for national training programs to prevent adult abuse and neglect, and is one model that has proven effective. This training program teaches about each of the different forms of elder abuse, how to spot it, how to stop it, how to report it, plus communication and problem-solving skills that help deescalate situations that could become abusive.
The Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act would also expand the definition of “elder abuse” as it is currently written in the OAA (which Congress voted to reauthorize earlier this month).
10 % of AMERICANS OLDER THAN 60 EXPERIENCE ABUSE IN A 12-MONTH PERIOD
The updated definition of the term would describe “abuse” as the “knowing infliction of physical or psychological harm or the knowing deprivation of goods or services that are necessary to meet essential needs or to avoid physical or psychological harm.”
Blumenthal previously introduced his bill in 2012 and 2013, but each time it failed to come to a vote in the Senate, McKnight’s Long Term Care News reported .
Re-edited from original article by PHI