Did You Know Illinois Has Dementia Friendly Communities?
Located about 30 miles northwest of Chicago, the City of Elgin is one of the state’s newest dementia friendly communities aimed to support those living with the disease and their caregivers. An advisory council for the cause includes the city’s library staff, the mayor, a legal team, home care providers, the office of state Sen. Cristina Castro, Advocate Sherman Hospital leaders, and both the Elgin Police Department and the Elgin Fire Department. These trained workgroups hold open and friendly gatherings and guided activities at local businesses unique to those with dementia. Resources are also offered to help community members learn how to interact with people who have dementia. The council provides much-needed support and a place for caregivers to meet up as well.
Currently, six communities in Illinois are recognized as being dementia friendly by the group Dementia Friendly America. Those include:
- Kankakee County
- North Chicago/Lake County
- River Forest
According to the latest Alzheimer’s Association report, an increase in those with declining cognitive abilities such as dementia affect an estimated 230,000 people in Illinois. That number is expected to increase by 13 percent by 2025.
Without Support, Caregivers Become at Risk of Neglecting Loved Ones
People caring for those with dementia can quickly feel isolated, even if the caregiver is a spouse, child, close friend, or a paid in-home aide. Coming together with others can lessen the burden these caretakers have and also reduce their risk to abuse of neglect loved ones, acts which are often ongoing, and the result of mental health stressors.
There are many different ways elder abuse to those with dementia is defined:
- Physical: causing physical pain or injury
- Emotional: verbal assaults, threats of violence, harassment and intimidation
- Neglect: failure to provide necessities, including food, clothing, shelter, medical care or a safe environment
- Confinement: restraining or isolating the person
- Financial: the misuse or withholding of the person’s financial resources (money, property) to his or her disadvantage or the advantage of someone else
- Sexual abuse: touching, fondling or any sexual activity when the person is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened or physically forced
- Willful deprivation: willfully denying the person medication, medical care, food, shelter or physical assistance, and thereby exposing the individual with Alzheimer’s to the risk of physical, mental or emotional harm
- Self-neglect: Due to lack of insight and cognitive changes, a person with Alzheimer’s may be unable to safely and adequately provide for day-to-day needs, and may be at risk for harm, falls, wandering and/or malnutrition.
Levin & Perconti is one of the first law firms in the country to represent those who have been harmed as a result of elder abuse in both institutional settings such as nursing homes and private in-home settings. We are located in Chicago, Illinois, and represent families all over Chicagoland, as well as throughout the state of Illinois. As part of our commitment to ensuring the best possible care for the elderly, we routinely share information and news that caregivers and loved ones may find helpful.
Watching Out for Our Neighbors with Dementia
If you suspect elder abuse of any kind, please contact us for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Together we will help determine if you have a case, notify the proper authorities if necessary, and vigorously pursue justice. There is a statute of limitations for filing elder abuse cases in the state of Illinois, so please contact us now.