Statewide reforms to improve protections and justice for older Pennsylvanians are in the works.
A state Supreme Court committee is examining the proposed expansion of a rule that allows the courts to preserve testimony of victims who might not be available to testify if a case languishes in the system.
The rule may be expanded to include victims whose age or illness, like dementia, might make it impossible for them to have their day in court.
The committee is also weighing the value of adding a box to a standardized arrest form that would indicate whether the victim is elderly, which could help to expedite those cases.
The state House Committee on Aging and Older Adult Services is considering a number of proposals that would enhance the safety net for seniors, including one that would mandate banks to report suspected financial exploitation of the elderly.
Another would establish a registry of people against whom allegations of elder abuse have been substantiated, to prevent known abusers from getting jobs where they would be alone with seniors.