Friday, March 21, 2008

Senator Alesi,R-Perinton Want to Make Reporting Elder Abuse 'Mandatory'

Elder abuse is an escalating and often neglected problem in the United States, as highlighted by a recent Lifespan report that documented 1,300 cases in the Rochester-Finger Lakes area alone.

Many of our families rely on institutions or specialized care at home for aging family members, and it is essential that safe, professional care be available at all times.

To combat this growing issue, I have again introduced legislation (S.1916) that would require individuals treating or caring for people with physical or emotional symptoms of abuse to report this crime to authorities.

Those who knowingly or willingly fail to report abuse shall be civilly liable for the damages caused by such failure and will be guilty of a Class "A" misdemeanor.

This legislation has now passed the Senate five years in a row but has languished in committee in the Assembly.However, by holding nursing homes and caretakers responsible for reporting symptoms of abuse, we can help protect our vulnerable citizens.

Alesi, R-Perinton, represents the 55th District in the state Senate.

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1 comment:

Pat said...

The only reason elders are scam victims by unscrupulous people is that they are on their way "out" rather than on their way "in," like infants, a group for whom mandatory reporting is already a priority.

Elder abuse may well be 5 times the incidence rates of child abuse for this reason, and for the fact that law enforcement is not "ready, willing, and able" to deal with the problem, the elderly being the least favored of citizens if coherent, and in abstentia if not coherent. As one of the easiest crimes to commit, those who do share the unacknowledged atrocity-label of child abusers and other heinous crimes. Whether physical, emotional, or economic and financial, elderly abusers and deceivers deserve little of society's sympathy because it is the equivalent of child abuse, a.k.a, abusing the helpless and defenseless. Therefore, mandatory reporting and resources must be made available to states and localities to prevent it, and to prosecute when it occurs. Otherwise, assisted suicide could become a public service that callous people will ignore as irrelevant.