Hi there, blog readers! This is Gerardo Cardenas with the AARP Illinois Communications Team.
We are certainly grateful for our nation’s laws, but our legal system can often be challenging and confusing, especially for older adults, making them vulnerable to the growing problem of financial and legal abuse and exploitation.
Fortunately in Cook County, Ill., the hard work and vision of a judge, a former state government official and a group of volunteers is helping thousands of elderly citizens navigate the complex court system and get the help they need.
On Sept. 3, 2013, Judge Patricia Banks (who is the Presiding Judge for the Elder Law and Miscellaneous Remedies Division of the Circuit Cook of Cook County) inaugurated the Cook County Elder Justice Center.
The Center, housed at 50 West Washington St., Room CL-16 (in the lower level of the Richard J. Daley Center) operates Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. serving as a resource center for citizens of Cook County 60 and older. The CCEJC will provide information and support needed to help older adults avoid becoming victims of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. The center will also provide referrals to the appropriate legal and social service agencies.
AARP Illinois is working hand in hand with Judge Banks. Three AARP volunteers (who are also lawyers) are now working at the center under the coordination of former Illinois Department on Aging director Charles Johnson. Charles is also a member of the all-volunteer AARP Illinois Executive Council!
The center’s services will include referrals to legal and community services; case management and coordination; translation services; victim advocacy; financial literacy training; counseling regarding abuse, neglect and financial exploitation, and many more.
For more information, call 312-603-9233