Miller passes pair of bills on Elder Care Through Committees

Oklahoma City – Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, passed two bills related to elder care through their committees this week.

House Bill 2753 unanimously passed the House Health Services and Long-Term Care Committee on Tuesday (February 28). The measure would create the Vulnerable Adult Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Registry, a searchable database requested by the Oklahoma Silver-Haired Legislature.

Miller told the committee the Office of the Attorney General currently produces a report on the same information, but H.B. 2753 would improve ease of access to the information.

The registry would include names, identifiable information and case descriptions for people convicted of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Miller said H.B. 2753 was supported by the Oklahoma Alliance on Aging, the Oklahoma State Council on Aging and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Oklahoma.

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations & Budget Committee unanimously approved House Bill 2747, which would create the Office of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia Resource Coordination within the State Department of Health.

The office would provide statewide coordination, service system development, and information on education, support, and other available services for people with Alzheimer’s or with loved ones who have the disease. Miller worked with the Alzheimer’s Association to create the bill, which she said marks the start of implementing the State Plan on Alzheimer’s that was implemented in 2008.

H.B. 2747 would also establish the Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementia Research Fund and the Dementia Caregiver Support Group & Education Program Development Fund to distribute grants as approved by awards committees.

“Oklahoma has had a state plan on Alzheimer’s for 15 years, and while progress has been made to address the programmatic and policy needs, there’s more work to be done,” Miller said.

“Government has an obligation to protect our vulnerable citizens, and sadly that sometimes includes our seniors who are at risk of being taken advantage of or who suffer from memory loss. I’m thankful these bills both passed their committees and urge a speedy approval on the House floor.”

H.B. 2753 and H.B. 2747 are both eligible to be heard on the House floor.