SeniorLAW Center urges expansion of elder justice in testimony on the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s 2016-20 State Plan

Elder justice was the focus of testimony presented by Executive Director Karen C. Buck, Esq. at the May 24, 2016 hearing on Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s 2016-20 State Plan at Drexel University in Philadelphia before Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne and her staff.  “The field of Elder Justice is broad and expansive, protecting the rights of seniors which affect their safety, income, financial security, health, shelter, futures and indeed survival. We are delighted to see those two words in the title of the new Plan, but we highly recommend the content in the Plan be expanded.”  Karen urged the inclusion of legal services to protect elder rights and the expansion of the federally-mandated Legal Assistance Developer in Pennsylvania.  Neither is mentioned currently in the draft 2016-20 Plan.  “Legal services address basic human needs of shelter, safety and security…and have dramatic impact on the lives of older Americans every day which affect almost all other aging services. Funding for legal services is funding for essential human needs. Congress has recognized and mandated this, making legal services 1 of only 3 priority services in the federal Older Americans Act.  But Pennsylvania has long failed to, and we are excited to work with you to make legal services and their profound impact on elder justice a priority in Pennsylvania.”

Read the full testimony hereRead the draft State Plan here.

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