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ALTON - Senior Services Plus is hosting a presentation on elder abuse prevention featuring guest speakers from the Madison County Sheriff's Department, Land of Lincoln, and more.

The event takes place on Friday, May 31, 2024 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the School House Grill at Senior Services Plus, located at 2603 N. Rodgers Ave. in Alton. A free lunch of shredded chicken with gravy, green beans, mashed potatoes, a roll, dessert, coffee, tea, and pink lemonade is provided and sponsored by SSP’s Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

The full lineup of five total agencies includes the SSP Regional Ombudsman, the Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association, Adult Protective Services, an attorney from Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, an elderly services officer from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and an Assistant State’s Attorney from Madison County.

Emily Jackson and Leslie Eberlin with SSP shared more about the event on Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com.

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Eberlin said the event is RSVP-only, and to contact her at (618) 465-3298 ext. 123 to RSVP. Spots are somewhat limited, as Jackson added there’s a maximum capacity of 100 people, but said there were still a few spots left as of Tuesday.

Jackson described the Ombudsman Team as “residents’ rights advocates” who investigate reports from assisted living facility residents - according to their findings, approximately one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse. Eberlin added that in 60% of elder abuse cases, the perpetrator is a family member, with two-thirds of them being adult children and spouses.

“Just because you think they’re close to you, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re doing what’s best for you, either,” Eberlin said.

Both hope the full panel’s expertise can help spread awareness and prevent cases of elder abuse - physical, financial, or otherwise - at the upcoming event.

“Having the information and the tools to know who to call or what to look for is something else we hope to bring,” Jackson said. “We want to drill down to, ‘What is each agency’s role in investigating or identifying elder abuse?’ So that way, those in attendance know, ‘If something is happening, if I’m spotting something, this is who I call, this is who I talk to,” and they feel empowered in that way.”

To learn more about SSP, visit their Faceboook page or website at seniorservicesplus.org. For more about SSP’s Elder Abuse Prevention presentation, see the full interview with Eberlin and Jackson at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.

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