Today the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Elder Justice Roadmap, which outlines the most important priorities for preventing elder abuse in America. DOJ has created a free online curriculum for attorneys to help them identify and respond to elder abuse. HHS will be creating a voluntary national adult protective services (APS) data system, according to the press release. This will allow data collection to identify and address gaps that currently exist about these victims. The Elder Justice Roadmap identifies the top five priorities for understanding and reducing elder abuse, many of which naturally are related to caregivers and long term care.
The top five priorities include:
- Brain Health
Why do nursing homes factor in? Well the document reveals these following points:
- High rates of neglect, poor care or preventable adverse effects persist in nursing homes and other long-term care settings
- Victims of elder abuse are four times more likely to be admitted to a nursing home
The Roadmap notes that there should be a stronger focus on providing better support and training to both paid and unpaid caregivers. As part of the Roadmap’s Direct Service Priorities, the caregiving workforce should be increased to promote better support in long term care settings, as well as in HCBS and at home. Caregivers should also be given additional training on caregiving and elder abuse. As part of its Policy Priorities, it notes that monitoring of long term care support and services (LTSS), including through survey and certification for compliance, should be strengthened. LTC related policies should assist with better prevention and detection of elder abuse.
Learn more about the Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report on the National Center on Elder Abuse website. You can also view the National Council for Aging Care’s Guide on Elder Abuse for additional information.