AUGUSTA (AP) — A bill that cracks down on financial abuse of the elderly has passed the Maine House of Representatives.

The measure introduced by Portland Democrat Mark Dion clarifies state law to say those with dementia and other cognitive impairments are unable to consent to financially abusive conduct by caregivers that would be criminal without the consent defense.

The Portland Press Herald ( ) reported that it also increases the penalty for the crime of misuse of entrusted property when the victim is 60 years of age or older, incapacitated or dependent.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services said last year that one in five Mainers over age 65 have been exploited financially by family, caregivers or scammers.

The bill now moves to the state Senate.

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