SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, passed two proposals out of the House to better protect vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. These proposals are the culmination of her work on the Illinois Elder Abuse Task Force.
“Over the last to two years I have worked with a variety of stakeholders to understand the causes of elder abuse and what needs to be done to protect our seniors from abuse,” said Stuart. “We all have our vulnerabilities, and we cannot tolerate abuse of anyone, especially our seniors.”
Stuart supported Senate Bill 700 and Senate Bill 701 to provide organizations and the state with support to investigate potential instances of elder abuse. Senate Bill 700 requires that mandated reporters notify the Illinois Department of Aging if they suspect an elder died of abuse, and adds mandated reporters at financial institutions to reports suspicious activities that indicate financial fraud. Senate Bill 701 designates abandonment as a form of abuse, creates a risk assessment tool to help identify those at risk of abuse, increases trauma-informed training, extends the statute of limitations for financial fraud, and add friends or acquaintances as a person of trust for financial exploitation. Stuart also passed a resolution to make June 15 Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
“Policy can provide seniors and their allies with the necessary support they need to report and investigate instances of elder abuse,” said Stuart. “By working together and reporting suspected abuse, we can keep people safe and save lives.”