Elder Justice Act
The first comprehensive legislation to address elder abuse, the bipartisan Elder Justice Act (EJA) was introduced in 2002 and enacted into law in 2010. The Act authorizes $100 million in the first federal funding provided for state and local Adult Protective Services Programs. Additionally, $25 million was authorized for APS demonstration programs.
The EJA also provides additional support for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, would create elder abuse forensic centers, authorizes an Elder Abuse Coordinating Council for federal agencies as well as an expert public Advisory Board on Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation, and requires the reporting of crimes in long-term care facilities to law enforcement.
To date, Congress has appropriated no money for implementation of the Elder Justice Act. However, the President’s proposed federal FY 2013 budget includes $8 million appropriation for APS demonstration projects.
For more information on the Elder Justice Act, please refer to the following publications:
- The National Health Policy Forum White Paper on the Elder Justice Act
- Elder Justice Act Talking Points
- Elder Justice Act: Advocacy Pointers
Elder Justice Coalition
The bi-partisan Elder Justice Coalition (EJC) was created in 2003 to promote passage of the Elder Justice Act. The EJC spearheaded the seven-year effort that succeeded in the passage of the Elder Justice Act in 2010.
Led by National Coordinator, Bob Blancato, it now has over 900 individual and organizational members. NAPSA was one of the five founding organizations, along with the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA), the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD), and the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs (NASOP), and remains on the national steering committee.
The EJC has also expanded to support other legislation related to elder abuse, including:
- The Elder Abuse Victims Act (S.462) would advance the rights of victims of elder abuse and exploitation, and increase resources aimed at the investigation and prosecution of elder abuse.
- Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act (S.2077) would amend the Older Americans Act to create in statute a National Adult Protective Services Resource Center, would require the aging network to screen and report elder abuse, and would improve coordination of efforts amongst allied agencies.
- Home Care Consumer Bill of Rights Act (S. 1750) would extend the rights, protections and advocacy services available to long-term care facility residents to consumers receiving long-term care at home, including creating a Home Care Ombudsman Program and a National Adult Protective Services Resource Center.