Mickey Rooney has been in show business for over 70 years, but he has now found himself making an important appearance in February, 2011. Mr. Rooney testified in front of a special Senate committee considering legislation to curb abuses of senior citizens.
Over the past several years, Mr. Rooney has become one of the growing numbers of senior citizens who are falling prey to elder abuse and exploitation. Last month, he filed suit against his stepchildren charging verbal, emotional, and financial abuse. The suit alleges that they denied him basic necessities, including food and medicine. During his testimony, Mr. Rooney provided sad details, telling the Committee that the pair not only took all of his identification, but that they also put a lock on the refrigerator and threatened him if he were to come forward.
The Senate hearing, called “Justice for All: Ending Elder Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation,” was held to draw attention to the issues of elder abuse, and coordinate federal, state, and local efforts to combat it. Mickey Rooney gave his personal account in hopes that his message would help build confidence in other seniors to speak up about what has happened to them and help establish more laws to protect them. His message did not go unheard, as shortly after his testimony, Sen. Herb Kohl, from Wisconsin, introduced a proposal that will assist in establishing an Office of Elder Justice within the Justice Department.
If you or a loved one has fallen prey to any type of elder exploitation, neglect or abuse, contact our office. As an elder law attorney, I can help you with the issues that are unique to the fastest growing segment of our population, the elderly.