Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and Special Assistant Attorney General Diane Daigle, chief of the Elder Abuse Unit for the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General, were featured speakers in two national training seminars on the topics of finding justice for elders and preventing elder abuse that were held this week in Manhattan, Kansas.
Both Attorney General Kilmartin and Special Assistant Attorney General Daigle took part in the 2018 National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Presidential Initiative Summit, "Protecting America's Seniors: Attorneys General United Against Elder Abuse."
Fighting elder abuse, neglect and exploitation has been a year-long initiative of NAAG, culminating in a two-day summit for attorneys general throughout the U.S. The event featured speakers covering such issues as the medical dynamics of aging, elder abuse investigations, senior consumer protection, financial relationships and interagency partnerships.
Attorney General Kilmartin, a member of NAAG's Executive Committee, moderated a panel of experts on the topics of detecting, preventing, investigating, and prosecuting elder abuse cases and ways in which federal agencies and states can work together in preventing and responding to elder abuse.
During the summit, Special Assistant Attorney General Daigle participated in a panel discussion with other attorneys from attorney general offices from around the country discussing fiduciary relationships, including those involving guardians, conservators and power of attorney. The discussion focused on the different types of relationships that exist and the problems with investigating and prosecuting such cases.
Additionally, Special Assistant Attorney General Daigle took part in a seminar on Elder Justice Training sponsored by the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI). Daigle gave a presentation on how to effectively communicate with victims and witnesses of elder abuse, with the goal of gathering enough information to aid in the assessment and prosecution of an elder abuse case. Her talk focused on the many reasons why victims and/or witnesses of elder abuse may not cooperate with law enforcement and prosecution and offered ways to overcome those obstacles through interview techniques and a focus on building rapport.
"With the general population living longer, there are many dynamics that come into play involving seniors, including family, medical, financial and legal. Taking part in these national forums allowed us to share our knowledge and training of elder rights and abuses with other attorneys general as well as provided an opportunity to learn best practices that we can employ here in the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General. As always, the Office is available to Rhode Islanders as a trusted resource to fight unfortunate incidents of abuse, neglect and exploitation of our seniors," said Attorney General Kilmartin.