New Illinois law protecting elderly from abuse doesn’t go far enough

The law foolishly requires most elderly people to give permission for their family members to be questioned

SHARE New Illinois law protecting elderly from abuse doesn’t go far enough
The Illinois State Capitol.

The Illinois State Capitol

AP file

A new law to address elder abuse has reached Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk. For the first time, as required by House Bill 3065, staffers for the state’s Adult Protective Services will be required to talk to an elderly person’s entire immediate family when trying to confirm abuse complaints.

Yet the new law doesn’t go far enough. Opposed by the entire Illinois elder bureaucracy in its original form, the bill in its final form requires most elders to give permission for their family members to be questioned.

SEND LETTERS TO: Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Confirming obvious physical abuse or neglect, under these conditions, may still be no problem for a visiting caseworker. But when long-term isolation and emotional abuse — not physical abuse — make up the core of the abuse complaint, it seems improbable that a cowed and isolated elder will suddenly cooperate with a visiting stranger from Adult Protective Services. 

The same goes for the APS procedural requirement that an elder’s isolation or confinement be verbally confirmed by the abused elder.

What do we still not get about elder abuse — that traumatic exploitation of an entire family through the hostage-taking of its dying parent?

Why can’t APS confirm the abuse it’s supposed to combat without the cooperation of isolated victims under abusive control at their very end of life?

APS must finally be allowed to harness the love and truth of good-actor family members against the predators in their midst.

Sandy Baksys, Springfield

No rationale for Fed to lower rates

The Federal Reserve chairman just testified that he probably will lower interest rates this month. This is no doubt necessary because we are going into a recession.

No, wait — we are still in a growth phase. So why lower interest rates? 

Jerome Powell says some elements of society have been left behind, but lowering rates won’t solve that. In fact, unemployment is at a very low level and jobs are standing open, with the stock markets at all-time highs. This is certainly no time to lower rates.

The only reason I can see for lowering interest rates is that Trump has been screaming “lower the rate,” and Trump is doing this to “goose the economy” as his campaign for re-election comes around. 

Lee Knohl, Evanston

The Latest
An appellate court in Maryland reinstated Adnan Syed’s murder conviction and ordered a new hearing after finding that a lower court failed to give the victim’s family sufficient notice that his conviction was going to be overturned.
The Hawks mustered extremely little offense, taking nearly 14 minutes to get their first shot on goal, in a 4-1 defeat against the Stars on Tuesday.
The Chicago native played one season with the Bulls. Pau Gasol also gets in.
Vice President Mike Pence will not be asked about his actions on Jan. 6, but he will have to testify about potential illegal acts committed by former President Donald Trump.