The bill to address elder abuse, thought to be expired, was resurrected and assigned to a conference committee in the final days of session and passed both chambers. On May 23, Governor Branstad signed this legislation (SF2239) that aims to combat elder abuse in Iowa.
The legislation, Senate File 2239, creates provisions within the Iowa Code to provide relief from elder abuse. Under the new provisions, a vulnerable elder can file a petition in an Iowa court to seek relief from elder abuse in a manner similar to current domestic abuse laws. The law provides courts with a variety of solutions, in the form of temporary and permanent orders, to assist vulnerable Iowans facing elder abuse.
In addition to providing protections from elder abuse, the law mandates that several state agencies collaborate to provide written recommendations to strengthen Iowa’s elder abuse prevention, detection, and intervention efforts. The report is due to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Department of Management by August 15, 2014. Departments that must work together to prepare the report include the Department on Aging, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Inspections and Appeals, the Department of Public Health, and the Office of the Attorney General.