Attorneys General Across the Country Unite to End Elder Abuse
In an effort to crack down on elder abuse, attorneys general from all over the U.S. are coming together. This is a fairly unprecedented move. But elder abuse has become a truly non-partisan issue. No matter which way people may lean politically, everyone throughout the United States can agree that elder abuse is a gross violation of the trust we place in caretakers.
The recent announcement spans the entire country. Attorneys general in all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, have joined together in a project related to the “Protecting America’s Seniors: Attorneys General United Against Elder Abuse” initiative. The initiative has brought the terrible realities of elder abuse to the forefront of national conversation in an effort to create stronger, wider-reaching practices to bring it to an end.
Over the next few months, these attorneys general will perform investigations, conduct research, and refine efforts to detect and fight elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. All of this work will culminate in the National Association of Attorneys General’s Presidential Initiative Summit in April, 2018. At the summit, attorneys general from all across the U.S. will come together and share what they have found.
By combining information and policies, each state can learn from the others how to strengthen its systems already in place. Currently, each state handles elder abuse, especially in nursing homes and similar facilities, in its own way. This leaves some parts of the country better at battling elder abuse than others.
What You Can Do in California
In California, nursing homes and other facilities for the elderly are licensed and overseen by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Licensing and Certification Division. This agency ensures nursing homes comply with California laws and handles any complaints about possible abuse. However, suspected elder abuse can also be reported to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), particularly Adult Protective Services (APS). Depending on the type of abuse you suspect, you can contact one or both departments to report your suspicions and make sure your elderly loved ones are cared for.