INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday, the Indiana Senate approved a proposal authored by Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) that would require an appropriate study committee to examine adult protective services in Indiana. Specifically, Senate Bill (SB) 182 would explore ways of improving adult protective services for elderly Hoosiers by considering the best practices utilized by other states.

“I think it’s time to take a look at the resources dedicated to adult protective services here in Indiana,” said Sen. Lanane. “We should be investigating allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation of elderly citizens and review what other states are doing to see how they dedicate their staff and resources to help protect their aging populations.”

Sen. Lanane pointed to the high rate of elder abuse and neglect in Indiana as the impetus behind the proposal, and said the General Assembly should look closer at the effectiveness of the state’s current structure for adult protective services.

“Overall, we need a concerted effort to ensure that adults in need of services, and their families, are able to contact a local resource that is able to respond to such allegations in a timely manner,” said Sen. Lanane.

Currently the state’s Adult Protective Services units are divided into 18 different regions. However, other state agencies like Child Protective Services have established service unites based in every county to better serve Hoosiers in need of services. Each year, more than 40,000 cases of elder abuse and neglect occur in Indiana, and it is estimated that only one in 14 cases of elder abuse and neglect are reported.

Sen. Lanane said that this proposal is a vital component of the Senate Democrats’ 2015 legislative agenda to improve the state’s health outcomes and protect the state’s most vulnerable.

The proposal was approved by a vote of 44-0 in the Senate and will now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.