The Senate Special Committee on Aging Wednesday held a hearing entitled, “Trust Betrayed: Financial Abuse of Older Americans by Guardians and Others in Power.”
CUNA was in attendance at the hearing, and submitted a letter for the record noting that the cooperative nature of credit unions means employees are often in a key position to detect potential financial exploitation.
The CUNA letter, addressed to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who chairs the committee, and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), the panel’s ranking member, also reiterated support for the Senior$afe Act of 2015 (S. 2216).
That bill would improve the ability of credit unions, and other financial institutions, to protect seniors from unscrupulous activity by providing limited immunity for properly trained financial employees who disclose concerns about financial exploitation of senior citizens to the appropriate authorities.
Witnesses at the hearing included elder law practitioners and state and federal officials who chronicled the variety of types of financial exploitation seniors face, and different ways to combat this abuse.
One witness, Jaye Martin, executive director for Legal Services for the Elderly in Augusta, Maine, said her state’s Senior$afe program had been a tremendous success and should be replicated nationwide. The bill’s lead sponsors in the Senate are Sens. Collins and McCaskill.