Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) today participated in an Assembly hearing on the abuse and exploitation of vulnerable elderly citizens held at Rochester’s City Hall. The purpose of the hearing was to gather information on the growing incidence of elderly abuse and the efficiency of the state’s response to that abuse.
“Many times, elder abuse is not easy to identify and often overlooked,” said Reilich. “I am certain that this hearing has served to highlight and bring additional awareness to this issue.”
During the hearing, Assemblyman Reilich was moved by the testimony of Anne Marie Cook, President/CEO of Lifespan and co-chair of the NYS Coalition on Elder Abuse, who noted that power of attorney abuse is one of the most prevalent abuses inflicted on our senior population and one that is extremely difficult to expose. Ms. Cook thanked the members for their support and shared among many highlighted items the need to stop power of attorney abuse.
Assemblyman Reilich also heard statistics from Oneida County’s Elder Abuse Coalition, which reported that one out of every fourteen persons over the age of 60 may experience some sort of abuse. “This is unacceptable,” remarked Reilich. “New York’s seniors are a vital part of our community and the state needs to do more to detect and prevent elderly abuse, and we need to do so now!”
Assemblyman Reilich noted that the Assembly passed legislation to protect seniors from Power of Attorney abuse in 2006 and that there are currently two bills, A.6421 and S.4996, that await action.
“I am hopeful that the Assembly and Senate can find common ground on this important legislation and, in doing so, pass identical bills in both houses this year,” added Reilich. “This is an issue that transcends partisan politics and I look forward to working with legislators, regardless of their party affiliation, to find real solutions to the problems of elderly abuse.”