Deutch Bill Protecting Seniors with Alzheimer's, Dementia Signed into Law
Today, President Donald Trump signed into law the Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act introduced by U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) and Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
The legislation directs the U.S. Department of Justice to develop best practices and training materials 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.
"I'm proud that Congress acted to bring some assurance to the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia and their families," Rep. Deutch said. "This Justice Department training program will help prepare first responders and other professionals in how to properly interact with this population. Whether a police officer is responding to an incident or mental health and medical professionals are treating patients, they will be better prepared with best practices for supporting people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia."
”Too many of our seniors citizens, especially those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, are at increased risk of falling victim to fraud and abuse,” said Rep. Reschenthaler. “I was proud to lead this bipartisan, bicameral effort to protect vulnerable members of our communities from exploitation by equipping first responders and caregivers with tools to prevent and respond to elder abuse. Thank you to President Trump for signing the Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness To Prevent Elder Abuse Act into law and for his commitment to protecting our nation’s senior citizens.”“On behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association, I would like to congratulate U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch and Guy Reschenthaler for their hard work and success in passing the bipartisan Elder Justice Improvement Act. Your efforts will protect the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias from elder abuse. This legislation will also equip first responders and caregivers with the tools they need to protect the health and safety of this particularly vulnerable population,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer's Association chief public policy officer and Alzheiemr's Impact Movement executive director.