Hot Topic: Nursing Homes for Sex Offenders & Violent Offenders

OK- Bill to Prevent Abuse of Elderly Passes Committee

2-18-2009 Oklahoma:

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation to protect the elderly from abuse or neglect while in the care of a nursing home passed the House Human Services Committee this week thanks to state Rep. Anastasia Pittman.

House Bill 1627, by Pittman, requires a nursing facility to notify local law enforcement, in addition to the Department of Human Services, if an incident of physical or sexual abuse occurs in the facility and requires the administrator of the facility to preserve the scene in which any alleged criminal act took place. If sexual assault is suspected, the bill directs that the administrator arrange for sexual assault examination.

“As legislators, we need to do whatever we can to protect the elderly from being abused,” said Pittman, D-Oklahoma City. “I am shocked and appalled to know that people would take advantage and assault these vulnerable individuals. I hope my bill puts a stop to such horrendous crimes.”

In 2008, Adult Protective Services confirmed a total of 10,315 reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Another provision in the bill requires a person who has reason to believe that a vulnerable adult is being abused, neglected or exploited to report it to both the Department of Human Services and local law enforcement and to preserve any evidence of the abuse or neglect.

“This will address cases involving home health care providers or anyone visiting an incapacitated and/or defenseless elder and abusing them in their own home,” said Pittman. “Without this provision, a person could experience months of abuse without any law enforcement investigation taking place-this bill will hopefully not let that happen.” ..Source.. by Bixby

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