Cook County Opens New Elder Justice Center
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Senior citizens in Cook County who need help navigating the court system, or fighting fraud and abuse, now have one place to turn for information.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the Cook County Elder Justice Center is the brainchild of Chief Judge Timothy Evans, and is located on the lower level of the Daley Center.
Presiding Judge Patricia Banks said volunteers and staff at the center can answer questions about financial exploitation, scams, and the like.
“We don’t give legal advice,” she said. “No legal advice, or legal representation; but we do want seniors who have issues, who have questions about the court system, who have questions about paperwork that they might have that they don’t quite understand – we welcome them to come in. To the extent that we can help them, fine. If we can’t help them, we’re going to refer them to someone who can.”
Banks said she and Evans noticed seniors have become a growing part of the court system.
“They’re living longer, and they’re in need … because of all types of legal issues: consumer issues, the scams, we have also elder abuse and neglect,” she said. “That’s a very big issue, because of elder abuse, and neglect, and financial exploitation, we’re hearing stories everyday about seniors.”
The services are for those age 60 and over. The center has two full-time staff members, and several volunteers, including law students and social work interns.