Elder Justice

Part of LeadingAge's 2020 Policy Priorities

LeadingAge Advocacy Goals

  • Aging services organizations will lead the way in fighting ageism and supporting the dignity and agency of older persons.
  • Promote affirmative, voluntary actions to address abuse and neglect and expand support for programs developed by aging services organizations to fight elder abuse and neglect, such as elder abuse shelters and Safe Care for Seniors
  • Support patient safety model for identifying, addressing, and reporting elder abuse.
  • Advocate to include abuse identification and training in educational requirements for nursing home and assisted living administrators, geriatricians, physicians, and RNs.
  • Examine ways to incorporate abuse prevention training for home care, case managers, service coordinators, and residential counselors.
  • Increase grant funding for training and hiring aging services workers at all levels.
  • Collaborate with the Global Ageing Network to coordinate a response to elder abuse and neglect.

The Issue

Elder abuse is estimated to affect 1 in 10 older persons; these include our residents, our clients, our tenants, and the people waiting to be served by LeadingAge members. Elder abuse directly affects providers of aging services when the people we serve are victimized by financial exploitation and physical and psychological abuse. Leading Age has been a leader in affirmatively addressing elder abuse in the broader community, as well as in our settings. Leading the fight against elder abuse is part of our ethical obligations and underscores our mission to be the trusted voice for aging, our vision of an America freed from ageism, through our promise to inspire, serve, and advocate.

Advocacy Action 2020

116th Congress

  • Elder Justice: We support reauthorization of the Elder Justice Act Reauthorization and will monitor progress toward reintroduction.
  • Reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) – Enact the Dignity in Aging Act of 2019 that reauthorizes the OAA and includes provisions that keep older individuals independent, such as nutrition programs, heating assistance, and senior workforce programs.
  • Other elder abuse related legislation. We will monitor House and Senate activity for other legislation addressing elder abuse raised at Senate Finance and House Ways & Means hearings.

Executive Branch

  • ACA Grants: We support the use of CMS fines to help train direct care workers in culture change.
  • Elder Justice Coordinating Council: We will provide guidance on integrating work done by LeadingAge providers with Council activities at the local, state, and federal level.
  • CMS Training: We will engage with CMS on training in abuse prevention.

Actions You Can Take Now

  • Visit the Advocacy Action Center to let your representative and senators know that you support elder justice programs.
  • Host a Coffee Chat with Congress in your community to help your members of Congress understand how policies address elder justice concerns.
  • Mobilize with the Advocacy Champions toolkit and let your representatives and senators know you support elder justice programs and policies.

Additional Resources