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Advocates still want elder abuse registry
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Georgia Council on Aging top legislative priorities for 2017

• Elder abuse registry

• Funding for home and community-based services

• Funding for transportation services

• Access to dental care

• Family Care Act

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The Georgia Council on Aging is once again pushing for state lawmakers to expand an elder abuser registry, and it’s one of five critical pieces of legislation the advocacy group would like to see passed in 2017.

The GCA also wants lawmakers to approved new funding for transportation services for the elderly and disabled to help them meet their health care needs and improve their quality of life; funding for home and community-based services; expand access to dental health care; and enable workers to use their earned sick time to care for loved ones.

According to the Georgia Department of Community Health, “Elder abuse is an underrecognized, undetected and underreported problem with devastating and life-threatening consequences.”

The registry is meant to provide employers and patients a better screening method for new hires that may deter known abusers of the elderly and disabled, according to advocates.

Last year, Georgia expanded its nurse aide registry, which catalogues incidents of abuse and neglect of elderly patients, to include home health care providers.

Kathy Floyd, executive director of the GCA, said at the time that it was a first step “in our efforts to provide information on abusers to providers and families hiring caregivers.”

Hospitals and nursing homes are required to check the registry to see if a nurse’s license is current, and can review findings of abuse, neglect, exploitation or misappropriation of property.