DiSanto: Senate Votes to Strengthen Older Adult Protective Services

Harrisburg – Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) said legislation to better protect Pennsylvania’s senior population by overhauling the Older Adult Protective Services Act (OAPSA) was approved by the Senate today.

Senate Bill 819 would improve the delivery of resources and efficiency of services provided to older adults. The bill was approved by the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, chaired by Senator DiSanto, last month.

The bill would amend the OAPSA to streamline communications between organizations and agencies that care for seniors, and find ways to increase health care efficiency. It would also confront the rise of financial exploitation of older Pennsylvanians by giving financial institutions tools to intervene if they suspect an elder is being taken advantage of through the illegal taking, misuse or concealment of money, property or assets.

To combat elder abuse, the measure would provide mandatory reporters (physicians, health care providers and police) with a procedure for reporting suspected abuse, and give them the tools to work together on the investigations that follow.

Senate Bill 819 would also fix a constitutionality issue raised by the state Supreme Court in 2015 and provide for employment practices that are safe for care organizations and older adults.

“Our seniors deserve to live their lives free from abuse and neglect and this legislation puts additional safeguards in place to promote their health, safety and financial security,” DiSanto said. “These improvements have been passed several times by the Senate in recent years. As the Chairman of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, I urge my legislative colleagues to get this bill to the governor and signed in to law.”

The bill will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov (717) 787-6801

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