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Elder Justice Act

Heather Workman
SW4710
Section 003
October 18, 2014

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Introduction
While child abuse is on the rise and gaining more and more national attention, most
people are unsusceptible to the growing power that is elder abuse. When the term abuse is
used, most people associate it with child abuse. That, however, is not always the case. Today,
more elders are being abused, neglected and mistreated by the people they trusted with their care.
According to Bugov and Ivanov, in Finland, the USA and Canada, it is estimated that about
4% of the elderly population are exposed to abuse..research from the USA showed that 10% of
nursing staff committed physical abuse and 40% confessed to psychological abuse. While the
statistics are staggering, elder abuse does not happen only in nursing homes. Families of the
elderly population are also perpetrators of such a heinous crime. Often families will neglect their
elderly members for the simple cause of not wanting to care for them which in turn leads our
elderly population to look for residence and care elsewhere. Adverse effects impacts society as
elder abuse leads to health complications for the elder population, making them more frail and
susceptible to illness which may lead to an early death. This causes an increase cost for elders
healthcare, an increase cost in programs for elder assistance, and a decrease in funds for other
resources for other susceptible populations.
As elder abuse becomes a growing problem, society as a whole pays, Elder abuse is now
recognized internationally as a pervasive and growing problem, meriting the attention of
clinicians who provide medical care for old people, as well as the general public. (Lachs,
Pillemer 2004). Indirectly, society will pay with an increase to healthcare as more and more
elders are demanding healthcare due to the effects of elder care. Directly, society with pay with
the increase of elders requesting care from family members and facilities that can be trusted with
their care and their lives. With the increase in elder abuse, more elders are going to seek care and

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residency with family members, causing problems with the family and an increase in the cost of
taking care of the family. Elder abuse causes a domino effect in a way, as an elder is found to be
abused, neglected or mistreated, everyone pays for the cost of healthcare it takes to take care of
that elder and they pay for the care of said elder.
To address elder abuse in America, I have chosen the public policy Patient Protection
and Affordable Care Act This act was created to address the patient protection through the new
affordable Care Act. I specifically chose to focus on Section H of this act that focuses on the
Elder Justice Act. This specific section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,
establishes an Elder Justice Coordinating Council and an Advisory Board on Elder Abuse,
Neglect, and Exploitation. It furthers establishes programs to promote elder justice and specifies
the functions of Adult Protective Services and its grant programs. (Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act 2010).
Social Allocations
Those who are covered under the Elder Justice Act are those who the act defines as an
elder: The term `elder' means an individual age 60 or older (Patient Protection and Affordable
Act 2010). Caregivers, Adult Protective Services, any state or local government agency, Indian
tribe or tribal organizations, or any other public or private entity that is engage in and has
expertise in issues relating to elder justice or in a field necessary to promote elder justice efforts
are covered under the Elder Justice Act. (Patient Protection and Affordable Act 2010). This basis
of allocations from the government is cost effective because only a certain population, the elder
population, are covered under this act and only certain agencies are covered under this act. Even
though public and private entities are covered, these allocations are still cost effective due to the

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fact that they must engage or have expertise in elder justice efforts. Not everyone is covered by
this act.
Provisions
There are several provisions to the Elder Justice Act; the money provided to the Elder
Justice Coordination Council, the money provided to the Advisory Board on Elder Abuse,
Neglect, and Exploitation, money provide to establish and support Elder Abuse, Neglect, And
Exploitation Forensic Centers, money provided to programs such as Enhancement of LongTerm Care, Adult Protective Services and Long-Term Care Ombudsman and money
provided for information regarding elder justice programs. The funding that is provided through
this program is social control as the money is dispersed only to certain programs and agencies
and to receive such money only certain grants are available to specific individuals and
organizations.
Method of Delivery
The method of delivery of funding is through grants that have been designed for certain
individuals and groups. Members of the Elder Justice Coordination Council are to be officers or
employees of the federal government and the act authorizes appropriated sums that are necessary.
Members of the advisory board are appointed by the secretary and are also authorized to
appropriate sums that are necessary. Grants provided through this act provided specific funds to
qualifying individuals and organization. These qualifying organizations and individuals are
required by law to submit a report on which they sent the money and how it was used.
Financing

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The financing that is allocated to organizations are paid from grants. These grants are
funded through federal tax dollars in which citizens pay when the pay their taxes. This method
emphasizes social control because the financing is control by the government and people provide
the funding through their taxes and have no control over paying them or not.
Social Values
This policy emphasizes the social values of social justice and worth of a person. Worth of
a person strongly applies to the Elder Justice Act because worth of a person is an American value
to value the worth of a person, no matter their age. These policies are in placed in order to protect
the elder population. With time and failing health, some elders are unable to make decisions,
defend or even protect themselves. The values affect the policy because it is in place in order to
protect the elder population of our society. The Elder Justice Act emphasizes the safety and
wellbeing of elderly citizens because despite the fact that they have become older and more in
need of aid, the elder population should be treated with the same worth as any adult member of
society. The Elder Justice Act also emphasize social justice, because it provides programs and
much needed aid to organizations to help address the issue of elder abuse and provide a better
environment for our elders.
Equality
The Elder Justice Act emphasizes values of equality. With increase age and failing health,
elders are not treated equally and are often taken advantage of because of this. This act is in place
to provide protection of the elderly population so they can be treated as equals and not fear being
taken advantage of due to forces beyond their control. This act gives them the equal opportunity
to living out their lives just as any other American can.

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Legislator Interview
For this assignment, I was, unfortunately, unable to interview a State Legislator or even a
representative of a legislator. Despite numerous correspondences to numerous legislator over the
course of this assignment, I was unable to get the interview done. Honestly, it was very
discouraging. For the correspondences I did receive answers from, they refused to answer any
questions due to the simple fact I was not a resident of their district and referred me over to the
representative of my district, who I have sent correspondence to numerous times and have yet to
receive any correspondence back from the legislator or someone of his office. Its discouraging
to me due to the fact that legislators wouldnt even give me the time of day due to the simple fact
I was not of their district and my district representative couldnt even send one correspondence to
me over the span of weeks I spent trying to get in contact with someone.

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References
Lachs, Mark S; Pillemer, Karl. (2004). Elder Abuse. The Lancet. Oct 2 Oct 8, 2014.
ProQuest Research Library. Web. 15 October 2014.
Buzgov, Radka, and Katerina Ivanov. "Elder Abuse and Mistreatment in Residential
Settings." Nursing ethics 16.1 (2009): 110-26. ProQuest. Web. 15 Oct. 2014.
An Act Entitled The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Washington, D.C.: U.S.
G.P.O., 2010. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 2010. Web.
<http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Resources/Publication/docs/ELDER_JUSTICE_ACT_2010.pdf>.