Highland Ridge, located in Williamsburg, Iowa, was honored to welcome Governor Kim Reynolds who signed into law the elder abuse bill that attaches penalties for crimes against older Iowans. The signing ceremony, held yesterday, June 15, was attended by Highland Ridge residents and staff, Iowa legislators, along with representatives of LeadingAge Iowa
, AARP and other older adult advocacy groups.“The bill that I will sign today establishes the crime of elder abuse and strengthens existing criminal penalties for dependent adult abuse, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies,” she said as the ceremony opened.
passed unanimously in both of Iowa’s legislative chambers during the 2022 session, and with the governor’s signature, the law will take effect on July 1, 2022. The crimes that qualify as elder abuse are neglect; isolation; or the physical, emotional or sexual exploitation of an older individual.
Dan Lindh, president & CEO of Presbyterian Homes & Services was also in attendance. Prior to the ceremony, he commented on the importance of this legislation, “We are grateful that Governor Reynolds is committed to meeting the needs of older adults in Iowa. Her comprehensive vision about safety, living securely and being protected from potential financial abuse will make a significant difference in the quality of life for older adults in Iowa,” he said. “We are also pleased that Governor Reynolds chose to sign this legislation at our Highland Ridge community where residents, family members, staff and board members could be part of the process and in position to share their gratitude and support for these legislative changes.”
At Wednesday’s ceremony, Governor Reynolds also signed a proclamation in recognition of June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
. She acknowledged Highland Ridge and its service to older adults saying, “I want to thank Highland Ridge for hosting us today. I especially want to say thank you to the team and the staff. It [has] been some challenging times that we have been through, so we appreciate everything that they have done for their residents. They were really proactive and did a really good job, and I so much appreciate that.”
Broadcast, print and digital news organizations across Iowa have reported on the ceremony
Watch the video of the ceremony:
Thank you to Williamsburg High School students for providing this video and livestream coverage to Highland Ridge residents.