Metro-East News

County’s Elder Justice Council launches new website

A screenshot shows the St. Clair County Elder Justice Council’s new website. The website’s launch date coincided with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Wednesday.
A screenshot shows the St. Clair County Elder Justice Council’s new website. The website’s launch date coincided with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Wednesday. kschwers@bnd.com

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly announced this week that the county’s Elder Justice Council launched a new website on Wednesday, coinciding with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The St. Clair County Elder Justice Council’s new website is set to provide information on training for professionals and resources for seniors who are in need or dealing with abuse.

Elder abuse is a term referring to any negligent act by a caregiver or any other adult that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult, according to Kelly.

The council held its first meeting last August, and continues to meet once a month with stakeholders from law enforcement, social services and other community organizations. The council meets from 9-10 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month in the county board conference room, according to its website.

Kelly said the council’s goal is “to improve and better coordinate the varied efforts to protect seniors in St. Clair County.” To do that, the council said it’s focused on two areas: training and resources for professionals who work with seniors.

So far, Kelly said the council has worked with the Illinois Attorney General’s office to train St. Clair County authorities to be better prepared at recognizing, responding to and investigating elder abuse and exploitation. The council has also coordinated with fraud investigators and educators from FCB Bank to present fraud prevention and protection training to seniors in East St. Louis.

With the recent launch of the new website, Kelly said the council approved a survey that will be sent to all county nursing senior living facility communities. The state’s attorney explained in a news release that the purpose of the survey will be “to determine the availability of resources and the ability to make referrals to the appropriate authorities in response to elder abuse or exploitation so that the council can develop a plan to reach seniors in those facilities.”

In addition to calling local police through 911, victims of elder abuse or exploitation are also encouraged to call Adult Protective Services at 1-800-642-5429.

To view the Elder Justice Council’s new website, visit www.sao.co.st-clair.il.us/victim/elder/Pages/default.aspx.

Kaitlyn Schwers: 618-239-2526, @kaitlynschwers

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