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Elder Protective Commission

SECTION 147.   Said chapterS 139 is hereby further amended by striking out section 204 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 204. There shall be a special commission to make an investigation and study of elder protective services and to make recommendations to enhance said services where appropriate and necessary. The special commission shall consist of the house and senate chairs of the committee on elder affairs, or their designees, who shall serve as co-chairs; the secretary of elder affairs, or a designee; the commissioner of public health, or a designee; the attorney general, or a designee; a district attorney as designated by the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association; the president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, or a designee; the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Home Care Programs, or a designee; the head of the elder, health and disability unit of Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc., or a designee; the state director of AARP Massachusetts, or a designee; the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging, or a designee; the executive director of Jane Doe, Inc., or a designee; the executive director of the Massachusetts office of victim assistance, or a designee; the president of the Alzheimer's Association, or a designee; and 5 members appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a member of the Massachusetts bar who practices in the area of elder law, 1 of whom shall be an expert in financial services, 1 of whom shall be a representative of a visiting nurse association, 1 of whom shall be an expert in geriatric mental health, and 1 of whom shall be chosen from a list consisting of 2 candidates submitted by the speaker of the house and 2 candidates submitted by the senate president.

The commission shall examine strategies to increase public awareness of elder abuse and mechanisms for reporting said abuse. The commission shall assess the funding and programming needed to enhance elder protective services to the growing elder population and examine best practices for the prevention and detection of elder abuse. The commission shall also examine methods for addressing the high cost of financial exploitation investigations and expanding the availability of affordable legal services and financial advisory services for elders. The commission shall also examine the development of elder abuse multidisciplinary teams to provide consultation on protective services cases and perform critical incident case reviews.

The commission, in formulating its recommendations, shall take into account the best policies and practices in other states and jurisdictions, including, but not limited to, those relating to elder abuse prevention strategies. The commission shall be empowered to hold regular public meetings, fact-finding hearings and other public forums as it considers necessary.

The commission shall file its recommendations, together with recommendations for legislation, if any, with the clerks of the house of representatives and senate on or before December 31, 2013.