The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health of Coloradans, but it also presents additional challenges for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.
These individuals are at heightened risk for elder abuse, and the pandemic is only increasing that risk.
Congress can help protect them.
The Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act requires the federal government to develop training materials for law enforcement personnel, judges and other people working in the judicial system, to help them support victims of abuse living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
Working with these individuals can be fundamentally different from working with other victims of abuse or exploitation. For example, someone with dementia may have difficulty assisting investigators or prosecutors because of their cognitive impairment.
I want to thank Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner and Rep. Joe Neguse for quickly cosponsoring this bipartisan legislation, which is supported by the Alzheimer’s Association.
I hope Rep. Scott Tipton will be able join them and continue his strong support of Coloradans impacted by dementia.
Congress needs to take meaningful steps to protect the 76,000 Coloradans living with dementia from elder abuse and exploitation, especially during this pandemic.