Advocates laud Elder Justice Act

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The Elder Justice Act (HR 1783) received a heap of accolades from senior care advocates and industry representatives at a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday.

Testimony from AARP and Robert Blancato, national coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition, highlighted the care community's support of the bill, which was introduced last year by Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL).

Among the more than 556,000 confirmed cases of elder abuse recorded in 2004, 20,000 of those occurred in a nursing home or long-term care facility, said Blancato, speaking to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. In its submitted testimony, AARP echoed Blancato's sentiments of concern and praised the legislation.

Among the provisions of the bill: federal funding for adult protective services, improved APS training and investigations, required immediate reporting of crimes in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and the creation of a National Training Institute for Surveyors of long-term care facilities.