Resident, Dependent Adult, and Older Individual Act Summary


On July 1, 2022, Iowa’s first broad elder abuse criminal law went into effect after being passed by the Iowa House and Senate unanimously. The Act is entitled “Resident, Dependent Adult, and Older Individual Protection Act.” The Act creates new criminal offenses, civil actions, and provides penalties. The new law defines “older individual” as an individual who is 60 years of age or older.

The new law expands and amends several provisions of the Iowa Code including:

  • Section 708.2D addresses older individual assault, mandatory minimums, enhanced penalties, and extensions of no-contact orders;
  • Section 714.2A addresses theft against an older individual;
  • Section 714.15A addresses civil penalties for consumer frauds committed against older individuals;
  • Section 725.24 addresses and defines elder abuse, including isolating an older individual from another person, and the initiation of charges and imposition of penalties; and
  • Sections 726.25 and 726.26 address financial exploitation and dependent adult abuse of an older individual and imposition of penalties.

Section 726.25 does have several safe harbors for those assisting older individuals and states nothing in the section shall be construed to impose criminal liability:

  • On a person who has made a good-faith effort to assist an older individual but who has been, in whole or in part, unable to provide such assistance;
  • Based solely on the sale of a product or service;
  • “On a person who has made a good-faith effort to assist an older individual in the management of the older individual’s benefits, property, resources, belongings, or assets when the efforts are undertaken for the preservation of the assets of an older individual or the older individual’s spouse or for the safety of the older individual or the older individual’s spouse.”

The new law provides additional protections beyond the 2014 amendments to Iowa’s Power of Attorney Act which sought to prevent, identify, and address abuse and misuse of funds by powers of attorney. With the new law, caretakers, social services agencies, and law enforcement will have additional avenues to protect residents, dependent adults, and adults over the age of 60. If you feel an individual over 60 years of age has been the victim of theft, fraud, or elder abuse, contact your attorney to discuss what civil and criminal penalties may be implicated. 


Tara Hall

Originally Published AtThe JD Supra Platform