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New law aims to protect Kentucky disabled, elderly

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT - Gov. Steve Beshear has signed a new law creating a caregiver misconduct registry, which will help families and employers in the adult care profession learn if an applicant has a record of substantiated adult maltreatment.

Senate Bill 98, which took effect July 15, will give better protection to Kentucky's elderly and disabled adults. The registry created through the law and maintained by the Department for Community Based Services, part of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, will include a listing of employees in a caregiving role who have abused, neglected or exploited a vulnerable adult, according to a state news release.

Once launched, the registry can be accessed by caregiving facilities, private family employers, and groups that accept volunteers who work with seniors and adults with limited abilities.

Beshear said the registry is a project whose time has come.

"Vulnerable adults and seniors often can't speak out when they're being mistreated, and many don't even know when they are being taken advantage of financially," he said in a statement Monday. "This law protects them from prospective caregivers with bad records."

The registry will include employees who have cared for vulnerable adults â “ in a facility or privately in a residence â “ and who have been identified through a state investigation as a perpetrator of a validated, substantiated finding of abuse, neglect or exploitation occurring on July 15, 2014, and after.

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