LeadingAge Kansas Rallies Legislators Around Common Concern: Stop Financial Abuse of Senior Kansans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 21, 2014 Contact: Rachel Monger, Director of Government Affairs, 785-233-7443

Yesterday morning, while standing in the North Wing of the restored Capitol Building, Senator King (R-Independence), Senator O’Donnell (R-Wichita) and Attorney General Derek Schmidt pledged to support Senate Bill 354 and Senate Bill 355 aimed at stopping the financial abuse of Senior Kansans.

The US Census Bureau estimates that 25% of Kansas will be over the age of 60 by the year 2030. As the population of elder Kansans expands, so will the number of financial abuse cases. Financial exploitation of the elderly, especially by trusted friends and family, is the fastest growing crime against the elderly. In 2009, the direct costs associated with elder financial abuse amounted to $2.9 billion nationally – a 12% jump from 2008.

“It’s an insidious form of abuse, one that our members see every day,” said Rachel Monger, Director of Government Affairs at LeadingAge Kansas. “If we don’t act now, this problem will just keep getting worse.”

Later in the day, both bills passed unanimously in the Senate and will now move on to the House for consideration. The passage of Senate Bills 354 and 355 will allow better prosecution of financial exploitation of the elderly.

“Aging service providers are the front line for detecting this type of crime,” said Debra Zehr, CEO of LeadingAge Kansas. “We will continue to work with the Kansas Legislature to promote policies that protect senior Kansans and advance elder justice.”

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