Reps. Deutch, Reschenthaler Lead Bill to Protect Seniors with Alzheimer's, Dementia
Senators Collins (R), Menendez (D), and Grassley (R) introduced the Senate companion.
Today, U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) introduced the Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act to protect seniors living with Alzheimer's and other dementia. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Senate companion.
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.
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.
“During this pandemic, the health and safety of people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are at greater risk," said Rep. 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 Rep. 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 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, Alzheimer's Association chief public policy officer and AIM executive director. “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.”
In April, Reps. Deutch and Reschenthaler called on House and Senate Leadership to include similar language in future coronavirus stimulus plans.