Seniors are happier and healthier in home- and community-based settings.
We should increase support for programs that allow seniors to age gracefully in place. I support the the Older Adults Waiver in the Medicaid budget, which allows seniors to receive long-term care in community settings. Other initiatives that require support include the Senior Nutrition support program, that assists home-bound seniors and provides “wraparound” services to seniors. I also strongly support Department of Aging funding for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs), including Baltimore’s NORC. NORCs provide a range of services that allow seniors to continue to live in their homes and apartments.
This piece of legislation would enable an elderly or vulnerable adult victimized by financial exploitation to receive treble damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs in a civil action against the perpetrator. In many cases of financial exploitation and fraud, the sums involved—while dire for the victim—are not enough for a lawyer to take on the case. The ability to collect treble damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs will enable more victims to seek justice in both criminal and civil courts. I would argue that intentionally depriving a senior citizen or vulnerable adult of his or her property is also egregious and justifies treble damages. This bill received an unfavorable report from the House Judiciary Committee. I hope to sponsor similar legislation next year.