Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell is backing legislation to reform the state's 1993 law protecting seniors from abuse.
The bill, to be introduced Wednesday by Sen. Thomas Alexander, an Oconee Republican who chairs the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging, "seeks to deter persons who have previously manipulated the system by closing existing loopholes, increasing penalties for those who knowingly and intentionally cause harm, and by addressing new forms of abuse and exploitation that were not recognized or defined by previous law," according to a release from McConnell's office
One example, McConnell cites scammers looking for the elderly in emergency rooms and offering promises of a place to live and care in exchange for the person’s monthly income.
"In reality, this elderly person may receive sub-standard care while their money has now been handed over to a potential criminal," said McConnell, whose office oversees aging issues in the state. South Carolina's population of more than 900,000 seniors is expected to double over the next 15 years, McConnell's office said.