U.S. Government Unveils New Resources to Fight Elder Abuse
Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 22, 2014 – The federal government has introduced a major new initiative to combat rising abuse and exploitation of the elderly -- the “Elder Justice Roadmap,” a comprehensive framework for neutralizing financial, psychological and physical risks to older Americans.
The Roadmap outlines newly launched educational programs and policy steps designed to increase reporting and prosecution, but it mainly focuses on encouraging individuals, families and institutions to identify risks and take steps toward prevention.
Elder law attorney Michael Gilfix recently authored an article entitled "Addressing Financial Elder Abuse: Should the Bar be Lower?" that will appear in the September issue of Trusts & Estates Magazine. He agrees that planning and prevention are the best defenses against elder abuse.
“Decreased cognitive ability and financial strain are two major risk factors for elder abuse,” Gilfix said. “The facts of this report confirm that every family should consider concrete safeguards long before a serious threat or scam appears."
The Roadmap's publication followed President Barack Obama’s vow to eliminate the victimization of older Americans. On June 11, President Obama proclaimed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, stating that the government must improve the criminal justice response and work harder to ensure all Americans have the “right to enjoy their retirement years with a basic sense of security.”
The map attempts to simplify a complex set of decisions that magnify in importance over time. Families can plot their place on the Roadmap to find missed, current and upcoming actions to take. "Durable power of attorney, asset protection and long-term care insurance planning make excellent starting points for many families," Gilfix added.
According to an article by Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging, the Elder Justice Roadmap is the product of an ongoing collaboration between the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that began in 2012.
The Department of Health and Human Services encourages anyone who suspects elder abuse to report it immediately by calling the National Center for Elder Abuse at 1-800-677-1116.
Facebook: Like Us!
- Considering the move to an active-adult community? We’ve got advice on evaluating the options.
As retirement nears, many older adults consider the benefits that an active-adult community can offer. For some, the option to downsize out of an over-large house can mean a more comfortable retirement and a larger estate to pass on to heirs. For others, the proximity to recreation and community promises to help keep them active […]
- Go Red for American Heart Month: Four fun ways to get heart-healthy with loved ones
February is a time for matters of the heart -- and that includes heart health. This month is American Heart Month, and groups like the American Heart Association want to get people talking about how to prevent heart disease, the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. The risk of […]
- Despite Pervasive Myths, Estate Planning Significantly Benefits Young and Growing Families
One of the most pervasive myths about estate planning is that it is most crucial for the elderly. According to a national estate planning survey, this myth is one reason that the majority of people under the age of 34 do not have a will. But young adults, and especially young adults with growing families, […]
- Increasing focus on the “invisible patient:” it’s time to recognize and treat caregiver burden
It has long been known that those who care for an elderly or incapacitated loved one can suffer physically, psychologically, financially and socially. These caregivers have been known for years in the medical community as the “invisible patients.” Little has been done for them. According to the New York Times, there are more than 40 […]
- Estate planning and the single person
Many discussions about estate planning revolve around couples and families. Yet a large percentage of Americans are single. Some are divorced, others are widowed and still others never married. Single people may want to adopt estate planning strategies that differ somewhat from those a married couple would use, depending on the situation. For example, an […]