Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Elder Abuse Deaths Eyed By Lawmakers

A walker rests beside a small nursing home bed.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

State attorneys could establish “elder abuse fatality review teams” under legislation that received final approval Thursday.

The Senate voted unanimously to pass the legislation (SB 400), agreeing to accept a lengthy amendment placed on the bill this week by the House, which also unanimously approved the bill.

Under the measure, volunteer members of the elder abuse fatality review teams could include law-enforcement officials, funeral directors, medical examiners, representatives of area agencies on aging and the state Agency for Health Care Administration, among others.

The teams would review closed cases of fatal incidents of elder abuse or neglect and make recommendations to help prevent future deaths.

The Senate bill initially would have housed the teams in the Department of Elder Affairs, but that was removed by the House amendment. According to a legislative staff analysis, it’s not clear where the teams would be housed.

Local teams would be required to annually submit reports to the Department of Elder Affairs with statistics on all of the cases that were reviewed. The department would be required to annually submit a report to legislative leaders and the governor summarizing the teams’ findings.