Elder Justice

Part of LeadingAge's 2021 Policy Priorities
 

LEADINGAGE ADVOCACY GOALS

  • Aging services organizations must lead the way in fighting ageism and supporting the dignity and agency of older persons, especially as older persons are at greatest risk during the coronavirus pandemic – older persons in the community as well as in congregate settings.
  • Promote affirmative 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 robust funding for programs that protect older persons in the community from abuse and neglect resulting from the social and economic impact of coronavirus, inlcuding adult day, PACE, senior centers and other programs that can identify and intervene to prevent abuse and neglect.
  • Support adoption of the patient safety model for identifying, addressing, and reporting elder abuse in congregate settings and HCBS programs.
  • 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 the response to elder abuse and neglect.
  • Promote equity in access to elder justice programs.

 LeadingAge members are saying:

  • “Most elder abuse and neglect happens in the community, to people who are not using aging services. I would like to see more providers be in a position to offer shelter to older people who need it.”

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. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated conditions that underly abuse:  isolation, increased reliance on potentially abuse caregivers, fear and loss of independence, along with the increased difficulty that programs designed to prevent elder abuse have experienced.  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 

                         117th Congress

  • Elder Justice: We support the reauthorization of the Elder Justice Act 
  • Reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA): We support robust funding of the Older Americans Act programs, including provisions that keep older individuals independent, such as nutrition programs, heating assistance, and senior workforce programs.
  • Other elder abuse-related legislation: We will, and provide education and assistance to address elder justice issues to House and Senate committees and work with members of Congress concerned about these issues.

                        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 levels.
  • CMS Training: We will engage with CMS on training in abuse prevention. 

ACTION 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