Lawmaker Hopes Newly Created Elder Abuse Taskforce that she Sponsored will Lead to Greater Protections
Assembly Speaker Emeritus Sheila Oliver on Wednesday urged New Jersey residents to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by getting informed on how to protect oneself or a loved one from abuse and fraud.
As the lead sponsor of legislation (A-1120) recently signed into law establishing the “New Jersey Task Force on Abuse Against the Elderly and Disabled,” the issue is of particular importance to Oliver.
“Elder abuse can affect seniors physically, emotionally and financially. Many times it goes unreported or unspoken about because older adults feel ashamed and robbed of their dignity, which is all the more heartbreaking,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “As a compassionate society, we can and should be doing more to prevent this exploitation. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is the perfect time for residents, old or young, to pause and research how they can protect themselves or a loved one from the many types of abuse that exist in today’s modern world.”
Oliver hopes the newly created 11-member task force will lead to more effective and efficient legislation, policies, and strategies to protect older adults and persons with disabilities from instances of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), up to 5 million older Americans are abused every year, and the annual loss by victims of financial abuse is estimated to be at least $2.6 billion. Sadly, one study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities.
Oliver also urged residents to visit the NCOA’s website to learn more on elder abuse and prevention.