(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today joined state representatives Mike Dovilla and Wes Retherford as they announced the introduction of the Ohio Elder Justice Act.
The act, which is intended to strengthen the existing Adult Protective Services Law, aims to improve the response to elder abuse incidents and encourage reporting of elder abuse cases.
The Ohio Attorney General's Elder Abuse Commission, established in 2009, provided many of the recommendations included in the legislation.
"We need to do everything we can do protect our senior citizens from both physical and financial harm," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "We are pleased that representatives Dovilla and Retherford are working towards turning these recommendations into law."
Some of the key provisions in the Ohio Elder Justice Act include:
• The requirement of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to create a registry to help identify patterns of reported abuse.
• The obligation of employees in various financial service industries to report suspected elder abuse to help prevent the elderly from falling victim to financial crimes.
• The establishment of a statewide Elder Abuse Commission, which will increase awareness and research, formulate and recommend strategies to improve policy, funding and programming, and identify opportunities to coordinate statewide efforts to address elder abuse.
"I am pleased to continue my partnership with Attorney General DeWine to reform Ohio's adult protective services law," said Representative Dovilla. "By making long overdue changes to this statute, we will take critically important steps to defend some of our state's most vulnerable citizens."
"As we continue to care for the 'greatest generation' and as the 'baby boomer' generation reaches 65, it is imperative that we promote awareness of elder abuse and establish safeguards that protect our loved ones," added Representative Retherford.
The Attorney General's Elder Abuse Commission is also requesting input from the community regarding additional ways to best protect Ohio's senior citizens. Those with comments can submit them through the Ohio Attorney General's website.
Those with the Ohio Attorney General's Office also work to protect senior citizens from becoming victims of consumer fraud and health care fraud.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840