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SEP 29 - OCT 06, 2015

Judge Boniello Accepts Appointment on Statewide Committee on Elder Abuse

By Peter A. Reese

SEP 29, 2015

State Supreme Court Justice Ralph Boniello

The Hon. Ralph A. Boniello, III, NYS Supreme Court Justice, has been appointed to a Statewide Committee on Elder Abuse.

The purpose of the Committee is to develop programs and policies to address the handling of cases involving the elderly. The goal of the Committee is to raise awareness of issues involving the elderly and to provide training on identifying the symptoms of elder abuse.

"Once elder abuse is identified, programs must be in place to immediately investigate and bring it to the attention of the proper authorities,” ", Justice Boniello said. “Authorities must be trained to handle the abuse in a quick and efficient manner. To that end, it is important to have programs in place to identify, investigate and administer issues involving elder abuse.” 

The Committee held its initial meeting on September 24, 2015, via a teleconference. The meeting had been set to take place in New York City, but concerns over scheduling due to a conflict with the Pope's visit limited physical travel. 

Judge Boniello indicated that the initial meeting involved introduction of the various committee members, discussion of each individual’s backgrounds and concerns that each wished to emphasize.  

Earlier this year the New York State Legislature passed a sweeping package of 10 bills to protect vulnerable senior citizens from predatory financial schemes and physical and emotional abuse.  The legislation would create a statewide elder abuse reporting system and increase public awareness of elder mistreatment, facilitate the prosecution of individuals who endanger the welfare of seniors, and help ensure adequate care for the elderly in long-term care facilities. 

“Senior citizens are the fastest growing demographic in the nation today,” NYS State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan. “Here in New York, it is vital that we do all we can to protect them from neglect and abuse and ensure that they receive the best, most appropriate care.  With these bipartisan measures, we take the next step forward in addressing the concerns of seniors and their families across the state.”

About 15 percent of the US population is comprised of people 65 years or older.

By 2050, people age 65 years or older are projected to comprise 20 percent of the United States’ population.  Data from Adult Protective Services agencies indicate a national increase in reports of elder abuse.  However, a New York State study on the prevalence of elder abuse found that for every case known to programs and agencies, an estimated 24 were unreported.  A national study found that approximately 90 percent of elder abusers were family members, most often adult children, spouses, and partners.  This maltreatment takes many forms, ranging from physical and psychological abuse to financial exploitation.  






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