Thank you Governor Christie and members of the legislature for signing Bill #S157 to create the New Jersey Task Force on Abuse Against the Elderly and Disabled. The impact of abusive practices is financially and emotionally devastating to our loved ones who are victimized. There is also a tremendous burden on the judicial and social services systems to rectify the injustices from such crimes although vast numbers of such crimes go unprosecuted. AARP concurs that the resources and experiences of a multi-disciplinary task force could develop policy proposals to save lives and livelihoods.
Bipartisan policy-making task forces are a proven strategy for the successful development of useful laws and regulations. For example, this approach was successful in initiatives related to developing effective legislation regarding powers of attorney and guardianship jurisdiction. Unbiased, informed stakeholders provide valuable insights that can produce realistic, actionable policy proposals. This new law provides an opportunity to develop the measures we need; to strengthen the investigation and enforcement capabilities of the Office of Adult Protective Services; to alert financial institutions' investigative agencies; to shine a light on potential instances of abuse and neglect based on warning signs; and to develop stricter safeguards that prevent family members and caretakers from exploiting elders.
AARP New Jersey looks forward to participating in this task force. We are confident that the results will improve the lives of New Jersey senior and their families.
AARP New Jersey