Bill should also protect vulnerable seniors against scams

I applaud the Government's desire to seek public views on its proposed Vulnerable Adults Bill ("Views sought on move to ensure more protection for the vulnerable"; July 28).

It is timely and imperative that, as we grapple with an ageing society, we also pay more attention to the plight of the elderly and ageing people with disabilities.

The Bill aims to take care of and protect senior citizens and adults who are susceptible to abuse and neglect.

The unique aspect of the Bill is that it empowers the State to gain entry into private premises to assess the person's well-being, and to temporarily relocate vulnerable adults to safe locations, such as sheltered homes or adult disability homes.

Other aspects of protection should also be studied and considered. For instance, there have been cases where retirees who have scant knowledge of complex financial products were coaxed into investing in high-risk products, resulting in them losing most of their hard-earned savings.

Recently, an elderly woman lost $100,000 to phone scammers ("Phone scammers cheat elderly woman out of $100,000"; June 27).

Given our rapidly ageing population, seniors are easy targets of a wide range of consumer fraud.

It is important to set up centres where the elderly can drop in and get professional legal assistance and even counselling.

Above all, there should be legislation to toughen penalties against those who commit crimes against the elderly and vulnerable adults.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng