A congressman from the Sunshine State is championing the “Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act” on Capitol Hill.
This week, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., introduced the proposal with U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., and U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, as cosponsors.
“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,” Deutch’s office noted. “This population is particularly vulnerable to scams as their condition makes it more difficult for them to communicate the crimes to law enforcement or to seek life-saving assistance from first responders. Particularly amid the coronavirus pandemic, having best practices will help first responders and other professionals effectively interact with people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia targeted by fraud and in need.”
Deutch introduced the proposal on Tuesday and weighed in it on Wednesday.
“During this pandemic, the health and safety of people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are at greater risk,” said 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 others living with dementia.”
“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 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.”
The bill has the support of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“The introduction of the Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act by Rep. Deutch is an important step in protecting the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s,” said Robert Egge, the chief public policy officer of the Alzheimer’s Association. “This bipartisan legislation recognizes that working with persons living with dementia requires specialized training and requires best practice materials to properly address it. We are grateful to Rep. Deutch for his leadership.”
Last month, Deutch and Reschenthaler to ask congressional leadership to add more fraud protections for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia in the next coronavirus stimulus package.
Deutch’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this week. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Bob Menendez, D-NJ, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are behind the companion bill over in the U.S. Senate.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.