ND chief justice says elder care study needed

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle wants the Legislature to look into ways to help older North Dakotans avoid being abused or financially exploited.

VandeWalle spoke Wednesday to a joint session of the North Dakota House and Senate.

The chief justice says North Dakota doesn't have enough public guardians to look after the rights of older people who may not have family members close by. He says some nonprofits offer guardianship services, but they have limited budgets.

VandeWalle says within 30 years, almost one-third of the population of many rural counties will be older than 65.

Two years ago the Legislature approved a resolution to study legal issues arising from elder care, but the subject was not picked for an interim study.