Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Contact 90.5 WESA with a story idea or news tip: news@wesa.fm

Pennsylvania Criticized For How It Handles Elder Abuse Cases

elderly_seniors_health_care_medication_exercise_prescriptions.jpg
Matt Rourke
/
AP
In this Nov. 6, 2015 file photo, an elderly couple walks down a hall in Easton, Pa.

A Pennsylvania state watchdog agency is criticizing how county-level agencies investigate thousands of complaints they receive about elder abuse and how the state ensures complaints are investigated adequately.

Among the shortcomings identified by the Office of State Inspector General were failures to properly investigate complaints under timelines required by state law. A six-page summary of the report says investigative practices aren't standardized across counties and it criticizes training requirements for caseworkers who are fielding a fast-growing number of complaints.

Complaints can involve physical abuse, self-neglect or financial exploitation. The Associated Press in 2017 reviewed hundreds of pages of Department of Aging records and found the performance of county-level agencies varied widely.

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration cleared out the department's top two officials and says it's begun addressing the report's findings.

To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.