Just last month, came word that the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services have released “The Elder Justice Roadmap.” According to a press release on www.hhs.org:
Supported by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Elder Justice Roadmap was developed by harnessing the expertise of hundreds of public and private stakeholders from across the country and by gathering their input. The goal of these expert summits was to identify the most critical priorities and concrete opportunities for greater public and private investment and engagement in elder abuse issues. The Elder Justice Roadmap reflects the knowledge and perspectives of these experts in the field and will be considered by the Elder Justice Coordinating Council and others in developing their own strategic plans to prevent and combat elder abuse.
“The Roadmap Project is an important milestone for elder justice,” said Associate Attorney General Tony West. “Elder abuse is a problem that has gone on too long, but the Roadmap Report released today can change this trajectory by offering comprehensive and concrete action items for all of the stakeholders dedicated to combating the multi-faceted dimensions of elder abuse and financial exploitation,” he explained. West continued, “While we have taken some important steps in the right direction, we must do more to prevent elder abuse from occurring in the first place and face it head on when it occurs.”
“From now until 2030, every day, about 10,000 baby boomers will celebrate their 65th birthday. And the fastest-growing population is people 85 years old, or older,” says Kathy Greenlee, HHS’ Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of the Administration for Community Living. “Stemming the tide of abuse will require individuals, neighbors, communities, and public and private entities to take a hard look at how each of us encounters elder abuse–and commit to combat it.”
HHS is supporting the mission by developing a voluntary national adult protective services (APS) data system. Collecting national data on adult mistreatment will help to identify and address many gaps about the number and characteristics of adults who are the victims of maltreatment and the nature of services that are provided by APS agencies to protect these vulnerable adults. In addition, the data will better inform the development of improved, more targeted policy and programmatic interventions.
The Elder Justice Roadmap and accompanying materials are at: http://ncea.acl.gov/Library/Gov_Report/index.aspx. If you suspect an elder is being abused in San Diego, it is important to contact authorities immediately.
Christopher C. Walton is an award winning San Diego, California elder abuse attorney whose practice is dedicated to issues involving elder abuse & neglect. If you believe you or somebody you know has been subjected to abuse or neglect while residing in a Southern California nursing home, contact Chris at (866) 338-7079 for a free and confidential consultation.