fbpx

Improving Elder Abuse Detection and Prevention

Elder abuse 1There is no doubt that there are shortcomings in the investigation of elder abuse.  Pennsylvania wants to take a harder line with county agencies that were tasked with fielding nearly 30,000 complaints last year.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has begun grading counties on a more aggressive compliance schedule, after giving some notification that they’d failed, sometimes repeatedly, to meet regulations and expectations on how complaints must be handled.

Some of the issues identified by state inspectors included failures to show investigations had started within the timeframe required by state law and inadequately investigating a complaint and logging the casework.

The Department of Aging inspects the performance of 52 county-level agencies tasked with fielding and responding to complaints that can involve physical abuse, self-neglect, or financial exploitation. These problems have raised questions from state inspectors as to whether people were left in danger. Their warnings have included orders to immediately investigate a complaint.

A county could now have just four months to improve its protective services for people who are 60 and older before it loses the responsibility. If a county agency doesn’t get the job done, Pennsylvania reserves the right to take over the task, or fire it and hire some other agency. It’s never done that.

Pennsylvania's caseworkers handled 29,000 calls about potential elder abuse in the 2016-17 fiscal year, according to department records. The call volume has tripled in recent years and is expected to continue rising, as Pennsylvania ages.

Some county officials believe the measurements can be subjective, and that protective services can improve with training and additional staff. County officials sometimes blame turnover or staffing issues and claim that violations can be just a failure to enter information into a state-monitored database, rather than a total failure to properly investigate.

The new protocol will grade counties: green for good; yellow for significant or repetitive problems; and red for significant or repetitive problems that put someone at risk.

Reference: US News (December 16, 2017) “Pennsylvania Pushes Counties to Improve Elder-Abuse Casework”

 

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

LIKE THIS POST?

We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.