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March 24, 2011

Governor Strengthens Kentucky Laws to Protect Vulnerable Seniors (KY. USA)


Beshear strengthens Kentucky laws to protect vulnerable seniors
From the KPA News Content Service

 March 23, 2011

Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday signed into law two bills aimed at better protecting adults and seniors from abuse and exploitation.
“Protecting vulnerable seniors from exploitation and abuse must be a priority for all of us, and it is a priority of mine,” Beshear said in a press release. “Today, with these new laws, we take a step forward in safeguarding our seniors.”
House Bill 52 prevents people who abuse or neglect vulnerable or elderly adults from benefiting from their deaths and bars people convicted of felony abuse or exploitation of an adult from serving as that victim’s guardian, executor or power of attorney. The measure also establishes a trust fund to provide funding for programs combating elder and vulnerable adult abuse.

House Bill 164 will make it easier and more efficient for adults and seniors needing a guardian when more than one state is involved.
The bills were part of Beshear’s larger “Safeguarding our Seniors” initiative to keep at-risk adults and the elderly safe and healthy.
“House Bill 52 closed a loophole in the current law and will prevent anyone who abuses or neglects an elderly person or vulnerable adult from benefiting financially from those actions,” Rep. Joni Jenkins of Shively said. She sponsored the legislation.
Beshear also repeated his commitment to include funding for an adult abuse registry in his 2012 budget proposal, even though the legislature did not create such a registry this session, according to a press release from the governor's office.

“We will keep working to establish an adult elder abuse registry for the Commonwealth,” Beshear said. “It’s the best way to identify perpetrators when adult or elder abuse has been substantiated, but doesn’t reach a criminal level, and it’s the right thing to do.”
Last year, Gov. Beshear ordered a multi-agency review —coordinated by CHFS — that resulted in a comprehensive report on the Protection of Nursing Home Residents. The cabinet has implemented many recommendations included in the report, and has revived the Elder Abuse Committee to continue the vital collaboration between agencies and stakeholders to enhance efforts to protect Kentucky’s seniors. The multi-agency review followed a Lexington Herald-Leader investigative series about nursing home abuses in Kentucky.

The state also joined the national Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program, in which states work with medical professionals to detect cases in which older Americans either are being scammed or are in danger of being ripped off by an investment con artist, the press release said.

SOURCE:    TimesLeader

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