Norris News – June 15, 2018

On June 15, 2018, in News from Nashville 2018, by Mark Norris

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This year, we enacted the “Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act of 2018” to further combat elder abuse in Tennessee. I was proud to sponsor it as SB 2621 (now Public Chapter 1050). As our citizens age, elder abuse continues to haunt our communities. I wrote about the […]

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This year, we enacted the “Elderly and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act of 2018” to further combat elder abuse in Tennessee. I was proud to sponsor it as SB 2621 (now Public Chapter 1050).

Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2018

As our citizens age, elder abuse continues to haunt our communities. I wrote about the challenges we face two years ago: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/opinion/2016/07/02/guest-column-elder-abuse-the-silent-crisis/90568646/

Since then, the Vulnerable Adult Protective Teams we created have taken more than 1,450 reports of suspected abuse in Shelby County in 2017 alone.

The newest law, which takes effect on July 1, 2018, clarifies and refines definitions of “neglect.” It creates new offenses similar to the abuse and neglect offenses under the Adult Protection Act but changes the felony classification of some of these offenses and creates some new offenses. For example, it creates a new felony offense for neglecting an elderly or vulnerable adult and a new misdemeanor offense for neglect through abandonment or confinement.

I continue to volunteer with the Coordinated Response to Elder Abuse (CREA) team supported by the Plough Foundation. Read more about it here: http://familysafetycenter.org/how-we-help/crea/about-crea/ As written at the Family Safety Center website:

“Although Tennessee law requires residents to report any suspicion of elder abuse or neglect, the reality is that most cases go unreported. In Memphis/Shelby County, the Coordinated Response to Elder Abuse (CREA) is a collaborative effort to streamline the services available to older adults who have been neglected or abused.

“There is a misperception that elder abuse only happens in nursing homes with neglected patients. Actually, it is all around us, and as a community we owe it to our elders to protect them,” says Olliette Murry-Drobot, Executive Director of Family Safety Center. “Approximately 88% of the cases we handle are the result of neglect, financial exploitation, or physical abuse, and they occur in relationships where there is an expectation of trust. As in domestic violence, victims know their perpetrators.”

We owe it to each other to remain vigilant against abuse and neglect of our senior citizens and those who are otherwise vulnerable.

It was good to see Governor Haslam at our Collierville Chamber breakfast this week.

It was good to see Governor Haslam at our Collierville Chamber breakfast this week.

 

Discussing recent legislation with Collierville Town Administrator James Lewellen at the Chamber breakfast this week.

Discussing recent legislation with Collierville Town Administrator James Lewellen at the Chamber breakfast this week.

On Tuesday, I was honored to recognize 24 students from the Fayette County Public Schools who competed in the United States Academic Pentathlon. They are the 2018 Tennessee State Champions and placed 4th and 5th in the national competition among U.S. teams and won 5 national medals.

Fayette kids

 

Fayette County resolution

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