WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez voted to pass H.R. 2922, the Elder Abuse Protection Act.
The congressman said it is important bipartisan legislation that helps prevent elder abuse. It aids to improve law enforcement’s ability to interact with and respond to senior citizens who may have been victims of fraud and financial exploitation.
This is especially important in the wake of COVID-19, which many experts have found led to a significant increase in the number of elder abuse cases, said the release.
“A society is judged by how it treats its elders,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “Unfortunately the data shows that seniors in nursing homes and care facilities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and abuse during the pandemic. I am proud to co-sponsor and vote in favor of the Elder Abuse Protection Act to take care of our senior citizens and give law enforcement the tools to identify and respond to elder abuse when it happens.”
H.R. 2922, the Elder Abuse Protection Act of 2021 would:
- Make the Elder Justice Initiative a permanent office within the Department of Justice by granting the Attorney General the discretion to place the EJI in whatever component in the Department the Attorney General sees fit.
- Require the Elder Justice Coordinators to evaluate training models and best practices to create publicly available materials for local law enforcement and public officials tasked with investigating, interacting with victims of elder abuse, or addressing elder abuse.
- Mandate that the Elder Justice Initiative maintain and publish information aimed at protecting elders from fraudulent schemes and include resources aimed at preventing elder abuse.
- Require the Attorney General to launch a national elder fraud telephone hotline, require the Elder Justice Coordinator to make permanent consultations with the Office of Tribal Justice, as well as require the Elder Justice Coordinator to consult on legal aid issues with whomever the Attorney General designates.
- Require the Attorney General’s Office to translate into Spanish any online resources that the Elder Justice Initiative publishes, and to post Spanish-language links that facilitate reporting of elder fraud and abuse to State and local law enforcement and help educate the public to prevent the financial exploitation of elders.