Centralized information would help protect vulnerable seniors and ideally prevent repeat offenses.
New legislation that would allow states to create a searchable registry of individuals who have been convicted of elder abuse was introduced by U.S. Representative Gwen Graham. The Tallahassee, Florida, representative said that she wants to get “all hands on deck” to protect seniors from what has become an epidemic of elder abuse.
As reported in a recent jcfloridan.com post, “Graham legislation would create elder abuse registry,” Congresswoman Graham made the announcement during a “Workday” event in Tallahassee. She was assisting Elder Care Services in delivering prepared meals to senior citizens in the area.
Graham remarked that the proposed legislation would direct the Department of Justice to create a model registry for use by states. This would be a searchable registry to help identify people who were found to have committed abuse, neglect, mistreatment or financial exploitation of any individual over the age of 65 in that state.
Congresswoman Graham said the federal government would then compile the information on state registries and make the data available in a national database.
“My new legislation would create a registry to identify those who have been convicted of abusing or scamming seniors and prevent them from causing more harm,” said Graham.
Graham said statistics from the Florida Department of Children and Families show there were more than 2,500 cases of elder abuse and neglect in the state during 2015. Florida has seen a 74% increase in the past five years.
Some states, including Delaware, already have similar registries in place. Florida does require that anyone who is aware of or suspects abuse of an elderly or disabled person must report his or her observations or suspicions to authorities. If they fail to do this, they can be charged with a crime. Adding a searchable registry of elder abusers will be bolstered if, as Graham proposes, health care providers are mandated by their states to check the registry before making hiring decisions.
Reference: jcfloridan.com (June 2, 2016) “Graham legislation would create elder abuse registry”