Statewide reforms to improve protections and justice for older Pennsylvanians are in the works.
A state Supreme Court committee is examining the proposed expansion of a rule that allows the courts to preserve testimony of victims who might not be available to testify if a case languishes in the system.
The rule may be expanded to include victims whose age or illness, like dementia, might make it impossible for them to have their day in court.
The committee is also weighing the value of adding a box to a standardized arrest form that would indicate whether the victim is elderly, which could help to expedite those cases.
The state House Committee on Aging and Older Adult Services is considering a number of proposals that would enhance the safety net for seniors, including one that would mandate banks to report suspected financial exploitation of the elderly.
Another would establish a registry of people against whom allegations of elder abuse have been substantiated, to prevent known abusers from getting jobs where they would be alone with seniors.
Amendments to the Older Adults Protective Services Act could be sent to the House for consideration by fall, said Rep. Tim Hennessey, the Republican committee chairman representing Chester and Montgomery counties.
Much of the action is being driven by an advisory council that was formed about six months ago to implement recommendations made by the Supreme Court’s Elder Law Task Force. Read more »