June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and state Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) is working to bring attention to the need to address elder abuse in Illinois.
Stuart passed legislation to create the Elder Abuse Task Force to help create a statewide plan to combat elder abuse. Stuart was recently appointed as the task force’s first member.
“We have an aging population, and the number of older persons is only going to continue to grow over the next decade,” Stuart said. “Our seniors deserve to live their lives with dignity and without fear of abuse and neglect.”
The National Council on Aging estimates that approximately 1 in 10 Americans 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse. The task force, created through a resolution sponsored by Stuart, will work to investigate the effectiveness of current elder protective services and laws, examine barriers to prosecution, increase public awareness of elder abuse and reporting, and study resources and best practices in other states.
“We know that instances of elder abuse are severely underreported, so the creation of the Elder Abuse Task Force is imperative for creating and implementing a plan to put an end to elder abuse in Illinois,” Stuart said. “I am proud to be a member of this task force and look forward to helping to create smart policies to protect our seniors.”