December 7th, 2016
Bringing Elder Abuse Out of the Shadows
ALBANY - Sue Serino (R, C, I—Hyde Park) recently announced that her bill aimed at raising significant awareness for elder abuse has been signed into law—a move that will help bring one of our nation’s most pervasive crimes out of the shadows and improve the health and safety of countless New York seniors.
“You cannot put an end to a problem if the broader public is not aware of the extent to which it exists,” said Senator Serino. “Elder abuse has lived in the shadows for far too long and it’s time that we bring the issue to the forefront so that New Yorkers will be better equipped to recognize the signs so that they can help play an active role in ensuring the well-being of our seniors.”
While nearly five million cases of elder abuse occur each year in the United States, researchers estimate that up to 85% of these incidents go unreported, with financial abuse alone costing older Americans almost $3 billion each year.
Senator Serino’s bill (S. 6923) would authorize the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) to conduct a public awareness campaign in order to stem cases of elder abuse and increase reporting. The bill is also sponsored by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, the Assembly’s Aging Chair, and was signed into law by the Governor late last night.
Serino continued, “By allowing the State Office for the Aging to conduct a public awareness campaign on elder abuse, we are one step closer to reducing the shocking statistics. I thank the Governor for recognizing the need to tackle this issue head on and for helping to put the health and safety of our seniors first.”
As the Chair of the Senate’s Aging Committee, Senator Sue Serino has made standing up against elder abuse and for our most vulnerable seniors one of her highest priorities, introducing innovative legislation to tackle the issue head on, securing critical funding in the NYS State Budget to expand the use of successful multi-disciplinary teams, and bringing key stakeholders together to ensure the continuance of the conversation on elder abuse.