Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Two recent cases point to the success of local Elder Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Teams. In Michigan a man was convicted of stealing more than $50,000 from his mother. The theft was discovered during a routine guardianship review conducted by a caseworker. Other investigations have resulted in charges against a man for taking $37,000 from his blind grandmother. The teams are funded by a small tax called a senior millage. 1/4 of a mill from property tax is designated for senior services.

In Utah it is Adult Protective Services that is responsible for investigating abuse or exploitation and to provide protective services and help prevent abuse. The Utah Criminal Code provides for penalties ranging from class A misdemeanor to 2nd degree felony. Anyone who has reason to believe that any incapacitated or disabled adult has been abused is required to report it. Reports should go to statewide intake at 1-800-371-7897 or in Salt Lake County 801-264-7669.

At the national level a bill that was approved by the House but not yet by the Senate. (Elder Abuse Victims Act of 2008)H.R. 5352 would protect seniors in the United States from elder abuse by establishing specialized elder abuse prosecution and research programs and activities to aid victims of elder abuse, to provide training to prosecutors and other law enforcement related to elder abuse prevention and protection.

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