Mensch Again Pushes to Overhaul Older Adult Protective Services Act

Harrisburg – Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24) today reintroduced legislation to better protect Pennsylvania’s aging senior population by overhauling the Older Adult Protective Services Act (OAPSA).

Senate Bill 819 would improve the delivery of resources and efficiency of services provided to older adults by:

  • Streamlining communications between organizations and agencies that care for seniors, and finding ways to increase health care efficiency.
  • Confronting the rise of financial exploitation of older Pennsylvanians by giving financial institutions tools to intervene if they suspect an elder is being taken advantage of through the illegal taking, misuse or concealment of money, property or assets.
  • Providing mandatory reporters (physicians, health care providers, coroners and police) with a procedure for reporting suspected elder abuse, as well as giving them the tools to work together on the investigations that follow.

One of the most significant provisions of the legislation is to fix a constitutionality issue created by a state Supreme Court decision in 2015. The decision held that it is unconstitutional for the offenses listed in the Older Protective Services Act to result in a lifetime employment
ban without further evaluation.

Senator Mensch’s bill would fix the constitutionality issue and provide for employment practices that are safe for care organizations and older adults.

“For several years now, experts, professionals and constituents have been urging the General Assembly to improve OAPSA to meet the rapidly changing needs and lifestyles of older Pennsylvanians,” said Mensch. “The needs are clear and the legislation meets those needs. I urge my colleagues to work with me to get this comprehensive legislative upgrade enacted.”

Identical legislation, Senate Bill 899, was approved by the Senate in the 2017-2018 legislative session, but not taken up by the House of Representatives. 

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com.  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch, or Twitter @SenatorMensch

CONTACT: Mark Fetzko, mfetzko@pasen.gov, 717-787-3110