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Vt lawmakers get update on efforts to protect elderly - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt lawmakers get update on efforts to protect elderly

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Vermont lawmakers got an update Wednesday on efforts to improve shortcomings in the way the state protects the elderly and infirm.

Susan Wehry, the commissioner of the Vt. Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living, told a health oversight committee that new, beefed up internal reviews, as well as a new computer system coming online this summer, should help keep better track of cases.

Vermont Legal Aid sued the state last year saying Adult Protective Services failed to respond in a timely manner to abuse allegations and at times carried a backlog of more than 300 cases.

"When we have all of the advanced reporting tools operational, then we will be able to query things like how long did that take, how long did all these cases take, but in real time a supervisor can also track it," Wehry said.

"One of the biggest concerns is there was a real delay in investigations. You know, people were making reports to APS and they were waiting weeks if not months before the investigation commenced, so that was a very serious concern," said Jackie Majoros, an ombudsman for Vt. Legal Aid.

Majoros did have praise for a new initiative at Adult Protective Services. The Financial Exploitation Unit was created this year with the sole intent of rooting out financial fraud of patients at nursing homes or other facilities.

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