Each year, millions of vulnerable seniors are victims of elder abuse, a pervasive and growing public health issue. Elder abuse takes many forms and occurs across every social, economic and culture strata.
In Illinois, elder abuse reports allege financial exploitation; physical abuse; active or passive neglect; and emotional abuse. More often than not, these abuses are targeted at seniors who are no longer able to care for themselves and are unaware that a crime has been committed, such as individuals who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. And in most cases, victims are subjected to more than one type of
Often, the abuser is the victim’s caregiver or family member, such as a spouse, child or grandchild—indicating the extent of the victim’s vulnerability. Because seniors are often isolated, victims of abuse may be afraid or unable to seek help. This crime frequently goes unreported, which means that these victims suffer unnecessarily, when help is readily available.
As the senior population grows and awareness of elder abuse increases, it is critical that we play a greater role in protecting our seniors. Signs of abuse should be reported immediately.
The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, Senior Services-Area Agency on Aging has a wide array of services and interventions that can support victims of elderly abuse. We can provide in-home services, home delivered meals and adult day services. Emergency funds are also available to provide 24-hour care in a nursing home on a limited basis.
An investigator from the Elder Abuse Provider Agency will investigate and assist the client with a safe long-term plan.
Chicago Department of Family & Support Services - 312.744.4016
Office of Domestic Violence - 1.877.863.6338 (TTY) 1.877.863.6339
Illinois Department on Aging Help Line at 1.866.800.1409.
All calls are confidential and callers may remain anonymous.