iowa cap domeiowa cap domeDes Moines – AARP thanks the Iowa House and Senate for coming together and passing Senate File 2239, a bill that for the first time creates a definition of elder abuse and specific protections for older Iowans and their families against elder financial exploitation.

“We applaud the bipartisan work of Iowa lawmakers to create a definition of elder abuse and provide new protection from financial exploitation,” said Kent Sovern, AARP Iowa State Director. “In tandem with Iowa’s new Uniform Power of Attorney Act, also passed by the General Assembly this session, Iowans can expect greater protection from the devastating effects of financial exploitation and abuse,” said Sovern.

“This bill is a good compromise and a much-needed step toward better defense against financial exploitation, one of the most common types of elder abuse,” said Sovern.  The bill will allow Iowans to seek protective orders against perpetrators of financial exploitation to put a stop to this form of abuse. “While it is unfortunate this final bill does not include criminal sanctions as originally passed by both the House and Senate, we look forward to working with state leaders and stakeholders to establish criminal provisions next session.”

For the past two years, AARP Iowa has been active on the Iowa Elder Abuse Taskforce, working with state leaders, advocates and other organizations appointed by the Iowa General Assembly to study the issue of elder abuse in our state and recommend actions to combat it.  Creating an elder abuse definition and better combatting financial exploitation were the top consensus taskforce recommendations.

AARP particularly thanks Rep. Lisa Heddens (D), Rep. Chip Baltimore (R) and Sen. Mary Jo Wilhelm (D) for their leadership on this important protection for older Iowans and their families.

Protecting the financial security of older Iowans has been a top priority of AARP in Iowa and nationally. Since the Association’s founding more than half a century ago, AARP has been at the forefront of fighting for protections against financial exploitation of older Americans in statehouses across the country.

# # #