There are two main types of Elder Abuse laws: The Elder Abuse Law of 2009 and The Older Americans Act. In general, the intent behind Elder Abuse Laws are to create a set of rules and regulations that penalize the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders. The law aims to prevent senior abuse in any capacity. This includes financial, psychological, physical, or other. The law also creates civil remedies resulting from senior abuse.
Prior to the Elder Abuse Law that passed in 2009, there was little to no funding dedicated to preventing senior abuse. After the economic market of 2008, the government instituted widespread protections aimed to prevent financial abuse. While the Elder Abuse Law’s specific focus was to address financial abuses of seniors, it also instituted additional measures specifically to deter abuse in all areas.
Elder Abuse Act of 2009
The Elder Abuse Act of 2009 was created under the Affordable Health Care Act. The act uses the Office of Health and Human Services to detect Elder Abuse and work with the proper authorities to deal with the perpetrator.
There are three main components of the act: creation of brick and mortar and mobile abuse centers, programs that manage existing senior long term care standards, and providing money to enhance adult service centers.
Additional measures also were added. They include the creation of ombudsman programs, managements of grants to the proper agencies, and the creation of training centers for long term facilities.
One of the main measures of the act which is meant to require long term care facilities to manage their facilities in a specific way requires managers or owners of these facilities to report abuse to the Health and Human Services agency within 60 days of discovering or believing an abuse is taking place. Another measure contained within the act forces long term care facilities to do extensive background checks on the employees in their office.
Older Americans Act
The Older Americans Act defines what it means to abuse an elderly person. The act further authorizes funding to government agencies intended to prevent and penalize abusers of the elderly. One of the agencies that receive significant funding is the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) which falls under the watch of the US Administration of Aging. The main component of the act is to provide education, resources, and money to help senior care providers with the proper information and training to avoid senior abuse within their facilities.
State and Federal Law
The State and the Federal Government have laws that address senior abuse in adult protective services, criminal codes, probate and trust estate laws, financial law, family law, and civil law. Each states have their own measures, however they all specifically address the serious issue of senior abuse.
Every state have measures in place for adult protective services. The purpose of these is to investigate potential abuse cases.