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July 31, 2013

State Kicks Off Adult Protection & Advocacy Conference by Focusing on Protecting Seniors from Financial Exploitation
Financial seminar highlights collaborative efforts to protect consumers

OAK BROOK - The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) today opened its Adult Protection & Advocacy Conference which runs through August 2, in Oak Brook.  Formerly called the Elder Rights Conference, for the past 26 years IDoA has presented this three day meeting for service providers, advocates and other professionals to get information and learn the latest on the topic of elder rights.  Changing the name  of the conference coincides with IDoA extending its protective services to people with disabilities ages 18 to 59 who live in a domestic setting.  During today’s agenda, stakeholders will present insight on education and protocols to help prevent financial abuse.    

“Financial exploitation is the most commonly reported form of abuse against older adults”, said IDoA Director John K. Holton, Ph.D.  “Last year there were 6,870 reported cases of financial exploitation in Illinois and we know not everyone reports suspected cases.  This month marks the ninth year of our Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention campaign urging people to report suspected cases of elder abuse.” 

The Departments on Aging and Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), in cooperation with the Illinois Older Americans Protection Network, invited employees of financial institutions, law enforcement, and provider agencies to attend the summit and generate ways to work together to protect consumers. 

“This collaboration of advocates and the financial services industry is strengthening the state’s aggressive efforts to protect seniors from this type of abuse,’ said IDFPR Acting Secretary Manny Flores who spoke during today’s summit.  “We look to further collaboration to identify and implement more protocols to prevent financial fraud and abuse.”

State law requires employees of financial institutions who have direct contact with customers to undergo training to identify the indicators of financial exploitation, as well as how to report exploitation.  IDoA designed and administered the training.  Compliance with the training standards is part of IDFPR’s examination checklist.

To learn the warning signs of elder abuse, including financial exploitation, log on to the Illinois Department on Aging website at: http://www.state.il.us/aging/.  Anyone who suspects abuse against an older adult is urged to call the 24 hour Adult Protective Services Hotline at 1-866-800-1409.


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