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AK State House Majority Caucus press release: House Acts to Raise Awareness of Elder Abuse, Calls for Promoting Safety



Friday, March 25, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State House of Representatives today unanimously passed a resolution supporting Governor Sean Parnell and the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services’ efforts to combat the escalating statewide problem of elder abuse.


House Community & Regional Affairs Chair Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau, sponsored the resolution, HCR 3, which follows the Majority Caucus’ Guiding Principle of promoting safe and healthy communities.


“Older Alaskans, our pioneers and most cherished elders, enrich our lives and have contributed immensely to our state’s cultural heritage. HCR 3 will help raise awareness of elder abuse and promote their safety and well-being,” Muñoz said. “Unfortunately, the scourge of elder abuse has been on the rise over the past four years and the state’s long-term care ombudsman, governor’s office and department of health and social services have all answered the call to combat this threat.


“We need to provide our elders with a sense of safety and protection – a measure of independence and dignity – not let this problem grow into an epidemic. Alaska’s population is aging and HCR 3 urges the state to continue educating and offering support and services to families and older Alaskans.”


The resolution cites statistics from the Office of the Long-term Care Ombudsman showing the number of reports of harm filed with Adult Protective Services have risen by 169-percent over the past four years, and those filed with the ombudsman have risen 200-percent in the past three years.


HCR 3 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.


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