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Govt Should Tighten Laws To Protect Elderly

Dr Lynda Scott
National Health Spokeswoman

16 April 2004

Govt should tighten laws to protect elderly

Enduring power of attorney laws must be tightened as abuses against elderly people increase, says National's Health spokeswoman, Dr Lynda Scott.

Dr Scott, a former geriatrician, is concerned at results of a study by Age Concern that show more than 20% of elderly people have suffered material, financial or psychological abuse by those they have trusted with an enduring power of attorney.

Dr Scott says a Law Commission review in April 2001 criticised the way enduring power of attorney was being abused by many who executed it.

"Three years after that review the Government has still failed to make any changes to the laws that affect enduring power of attorney over the elderly.

"Labour has done very little to expand the elder abuse and neglect programmes set up by National.

"Sadly, too often it is those elderly people suffering from dementia who are the most seriously abused, and for them there is little support", says Dr Scott.


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