Washington, DC - Jennifer Coldren of Rome, N.Y., summoned her courage and traveled to the nation's capital in July to tell Congress about the rape of her now 91-year-old grandmother in a nursing home a year ago. Coldren had a reason: She thought the story would help press Congress to pass legislation designed to protect elderly people from such abuse. "It was the most horrible thing in the world. A nightmare," she said. But Coldren would go away feeling somewhat disappointed. She found Congress obsessed with Iraq. Her testimony before the Senate Special Committee on Aging did not receive wide media coverage. Despite her efforts, the Elder Justice Act, designed to combat abuse, neglect and exploitation of older Americans, still gathers dust in Congress. It has been doing that for five years, odd for a bill with few visible opponents.
October 26, 2007