Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Senator Kohl To Address Growing Problem Of Elder Abuse, Highlight National Solutions

Contact: Ashley Glacel Phone: (202) 224-5364

Witnesses Support Nationwide System of Background Checks for Long-Term Care Workers

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, July 18, Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) will hold a hearing to address the issue of elder abuse, a growing yet overlooked problem within America’s aging population. The hearing will be centered on the need for, and the benefits of, S. 1577, the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007. This bipartisan bill, introduced by Chairman Kohl and Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) last month, would establish a nationwide system of background checks to prevent those with criminal histories from working within long-term care settings. The bill was cosponsored by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Carl Levin (D-MI), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, victims of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation are not only subject to injury from mistreatment and neglect; they are also three times more likely to die at an earlier age than expected, as compared to elders who are not abused. A 2004 survey of State Adult Protective Services revealed a 19.7 percent increase in reports of elder and vulnerable adult abuse and neglect since 2000, as well as a 15.6 percent increase in substantiated cases. In Wisconsin, data from 2005 shows a 7.5 percent increase in reported abuse and neglect cases from 2004 for a total of 4234 cases. Of these cases, 21 were fatal and another 353 were life threatening.

The hearing will be webcast from the committee webpage:

No comments: