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AARP Iowa Thanks the Iowa State Senate for Voting Yes to Combat Elder Abuse in Iowa

Serious Senior Woman With Adult Daughter At Home

Des Moines, IA – Today, the Iowa State Senate unanimously passed SF 522, a bill to combat elder abuse, especially financial exploitation, across Iowa.  This bill would make elder abuse a crime for the first time in Iowa.

AARP Iowa thanks the Iowa State Senate and Julian Garrett (R) for floor-managing the bill. We also thank the Senate Judiciary Committee, especially Committee Chair Brad Zaun (R) and subcommittee members who supported the bill, Jeff Reichman (R), and Kevin Kinney (D).

Elder abuse, like many forms of domestic abuse, is an often hidden phenomenon that affects thousands of older Iowans. It can happen in many forms, often found together: physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, and financial exploitation - which is the most prevalent form of elder abuse. Strangers can commit financial exploitation, but national studies have found that 90% of perpetrators are known to their victims, and only 1 in 44 cases are reported. The need for this legislation is heightened as so many vulnerable older Iowans remain isolated at home.

“This legislation has been discussed for years, so we are pleased to see the Iowa Senate act and pass a bill with broad, bipartisan support for protecting Iowa seniors from elder abuse,” said Brad Anderson, AARP Iowa State Director.  “We also thank the many supporting groups including Iowa’s financial institutions, local law enforcement, who are on the front lines of this issue every day and know how important this step is to help older Iowans. We look forward to working with the Iowa House to pass these elder abuse protections.”

AARP Iowa has worked with a broad coalition, including aging advocates, local law enforcement groups, the Attorney General, financial institutions, faith groups, and long-term care associations who have joined to support this bill and fill this legal gap in our state with an aging population.

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