PA Task Force Established to Study Legal Issues Faced by Older People, Recommend Changes

A new Elder Law Task Force will take up special legal issues faced by older Pennsylvanians, from their vulnerability to abuse and neglect to the ways in which the judicial system should change to accommodate their needs, state court officials said Thursday.

The 38-member task force held its first meeting this week in Harrisburg, and has about a year to study the topic and make recommendations for changes to court rules, new legislation and other solutions.
“Every Pennsylvanian is going to face this in one way or another, whether it’s their parents, their loved ones or themselves,” said state Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd, who chairs the panel. “And we really want to do everything we can to keep our older adults safe.”

Among the issues being studied are guardianship matters, improving access to the judicial system and abuse — whether physical, psychological or financial.
“We’ve focused so much in recent years, and we continue to focus, on child abuse, because our children are a vulnerable population,” Todd said. “But our elderly are a vulnerable population as well.”

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Pa. Task Force Established to Study Legal Issues Faced by Older People, Recommend Changes

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3 Responses to “PA Task Force Established to Study Legal Issues Faced by Older People, Recommend Changes”

  1. Thelma Says:

    PA's chief judge got it right when she said: ""We've focused so much in recent years, and we continue to focus, on child abuse, because our children are a vulnerable population," Todd said. "But our elderly are a vulnerable population as well."

  2. StandUp Says:

    I hope the task force consists of real advocates and not just more practitioners.

  3. jeenmb2@aol.com Says:

    I hope the task force looks into the issues of "substituted" decision making versus "supported" decision making of people of all ages with cognitive disabilities. Guardians are supposed to watch over their clients to protect them in the least restrictive manner. What I have seen is anything but this. I have seen guardians totally abusing their clients, treating them like minor children totally incapable of making even small decisions in their lives, cutting them off from all family members that would encourage their independence, taking away their phones and pets and isolating them from their former lives and their dreams, allowing foster parents to deprive them of items needed for basic human dignity. This has got to STOP. Whether elders or cognitive issues, these "wards of the court" are not incarcerated. They have done nothing wrong !!

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