AI Prepares Enforcement of New Elder Abuse Law | New

(KMAland) — Friday Iowa’s New elder abuse law entered into force. Those who lobbied for its passage hope victims are aware of the additional protections and will speak up about their situation, and supporters said the law covers many gaps in state law relating to elder abuse.

Changes include a new crime dealing with financial abuse of an elderly person, and tougher penalties for assault and theft, when someone is targeted because of their age.

Anthony Carroll, advocacy manager for AARP Iowa, said such crimes often go unreported. Not only do they want to prevent incidents, but they also want to inspire action.

“If you live in a community, you worry that someone will be abused or isolated,” Carroll explained. “Really make sure you’re that good neighbor and show up.”

Carroll pointed out that the law strikes a good balance in establishing accountability, while allowing seniors to seek services from financial institutions and donate to trusted fundraisers. In addition to law enforcement, Iowa’s six regional agencies on aging offer counseling, and AARP Iowa has set More details of the new law on its website.

Laura Kriegermeier, elder rights coordinator for Heritage Area Agency on Aging in eastern Iowa, said she often receives calls from people concerned about abuse. She added that older people who are exploited by a loved one often worry about getting them in trouble. She hopes the new law will convince them that the authorities must intervene.

“Just as it is wrong for someone to abuse a child or take advantage of a child,” Kriegermeier pointed out. “There are consequences… people go to jail.”

Kriegermeier added that in past situations, victims were often limited to seeking justice in civil court but lacked the resources to complete the process. She pointed out that the new law provides tools for others to move these cases forward, if the person feels comfortable filing a report.

“The potential for that, being criminal, there could be a lot more justice,” Kriegermeier predicted.

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