ICYMI: Reschenthaler, Deutch Introduce Bill to Protect Seniors with Alzheimer’s, Dementia
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Representatives Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) and Ted Deutch (FL-22) introduced the Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act to protect seniors living with Alzheimer's and dementia from elder abuse and fraud. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Senate companion.
“As our nation fights the COVID-19 outbreak, our seniors, especially those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, face increased risk of falling victim to fraud and abuse,” said Rep. Reschenthaler. “I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan, bicameral Elder Justice Improvement Act, which will equip first responders and caregivers with the tools they need to prevent and respond to elder abuse. I hope my colleagues will join us in protecting this vulnerable population from exploitation.”
“During this pandemic, the health and safety of people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia are at greater risk," said Rep. Deutch. "This population is also particularly vulnerable to scammers who try to trick seniors into giving up sensitive information. Developing best practices will help these professionals better treat, protect, and care for the 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.”
The legislation directs the U.S. Department of Justice to develop best practices for assisting professionals – law enforcement, firefighters, emergency personnel, social workers, court officials, and medical professionals – who encounter and support people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
This population is particularly vulnerable to scams as their condition makes it more difficult for them to communicate the crimes to law enforcement or seek life-saving assistance from first responders. Particularly amid the coronavirus pandemic, best practices will help first responders and other professionals effectively assist people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia who are targeted by fraud and in need.