Laws protecting seniors and adults with disabilities in the state of Ohio will get a boost in September, when new rules that strengthen existing adult protective services statutes take effect.
The new provisions cover a wide range of situations, and are expected to help an increasing number of vulnerable adults. Some highlights of note:
- The addition of 16 new professions to the list of people required to act if the suspect abuse, including health care professionals (like pharmacists, dialysis technicians, and ambulance drivers), people in the financial industry (CPA, bank and loan employees, credit union employees, and investment advisors and financial planners), and individuals in the housing industry (housing inspectors and real estate brokers).
- Expanded definitions for “neglect” and “exploitation” to include additional types of abusive activities, broadening the scope of illegal activities and providing protection to a greater number of victims.
- New requirement for every County Department of Job and Family Services across the state to notify law enforcement agencies if there is reasonable cause to believe that a victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation has been criminally exploited.
Together with enhanced protections against financial abuse of seniors and adults with disabilities that the Securities and Exchange Commission rolled out in February, the new Ohio protections offer additional hope to stop abuse and exploitation for the thousands of people estimated to be victims of elder and disability abuse every year.