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Wyoming EVA team highlights needs for vulnerable adult protection

Governor signing UPOAA
An elder and vulnerable adults taskforce that included AARP Wyoming staff among its membership has finalized its work and has taken steps to advocate for changes that directly impact the state’s vulnerable and aging population.

During the 2017 Legislative session, the taskforce recommended measures that would increase protections against exploitation and abuse. Specifically, passage of the Wyoming Uniform Power of Attorney Act, and increasing the duration of protective orders so that appropriate protective measures may be implemented.

In addition to these two legislative actions, the taskforce will make recommendations to the Wyoming Legislative Management Council on other possible statutory changes for the 2018 session.

In the report, which is available to the public, the taskforce indicated a number of findings including, but not limited to:

  • Wyoming’s population is aging and those age 60 and older is growing, while those age 60 and under is shrinking.
  • The public needs to be better educated about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation and how it can be prevented.
  • A program should be started that supports the Wyoming Attorney General and Division of Criminal Investigation assisting prosecuting attorneys of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • Efforts should be considered to improve inter-agency communications on services for the vulnerable adult population.
  • Guardianship and conservatorships utilizations should be reviewed for efficiencies and efficacy.

The full report is available for review and download at .

While the taskforce, which was formed by an executive order from Gov. Matt Mead, was given a one year timetable to research, develop, and present their findings, individually the members have committed to continuing the work on education and implementation in the future.

Besides  representatives of AARP, the taskforce was composed of respected individuals from many fields impacted by the work including representatives from the banking industry, consumer advocates, the healthcare industry, private citizens, law enforcement, the Wyoming Department of Health, the Wyoming Department of Family Services, a county attorney and many members of legal and judicial profession.

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