Friday, March 9, 2007

Vulnerable Adults Focus of Measure

By KATHIE DURBIN Columbian staff writer

House approves bill expanding protection for elderly, disabled

OLYMPIA -Washington- Elderly and disabled adults would win new protections from abuse and exploitation under a bill that passed the House 97-0 Wednesday, with one member excused.
House Bill 1008, sponsored by Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, amends the 1999 Vulnerable Adult Protection Act to make it easier to file protective orders when vulnerable adults are unable to fend for themselves.

"When a person's health declines or when his or her ability to think begins to fade, all too often someone comes along to take advantage of the situation," Moeller said. "This will protect our most vulnerable citizens."

Dimitrov, who has been handling elder-abuse cases for 10 years, told the judiciary committee that at least 90 percent of her cases involve family members stealing from elderly relatives.

Kathie Durbin covers state government. Reach her at 360-586-2437 or e-mail

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