Yesterday, June 11, 2013, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed a bill that lengthens the list of people who are legally required to report elder abuse to authorities. House Bill 2205 makes dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, attorneys, and lawmakers themselves mandatory reporters of the abuse of anyone over the age of 65.
The mandate includes reporting of “financial exploitation” of seniors, which is defined as follows:
(a) Wrongfully taking the assets, funds or property belonging to or intended for the use of an elderly person or a person with a disability.
(b) Alarming an elderly person or a person with a disability by conveying a threat to wrongfully take or appropriate money or property of the person if the person would reasonably believe that the threat conveyed would be carried out.
(c) Misappropriating, misusing or transferring without authorization any money from any account held jointly or singly by an elderly person or a person with a disability.
(d) Failing to use the income or assets of an elderly person or a person with a disability effectively for the support and maintenance of the person.
We believe this additional protection of seniors is a positive development. The Act becomes effective on January 1, 2015.