Protecting Seniors

Attorney General Lisa Madigan understands how important it is to protect Illinois’ older residents from fraud, abuse and neglect, and she has strongly advocated on their behalf.

Scam artists often attempt to con money from seniors because of their perceived ability to access retirement accounts and pensions. Attorney General Madigan has taken aggressive legal action against those who prey on seniors. She has real people answering phone calls about consumer fraud scams affecting seniors. Attorney General fights the physical and financial abuse of seniors by training Illinois law enforcement to recognize and investigate abuse as part of the Elderly Service Officer Program. 

Bringing together law enforcement officials from across the state, other government agencies and advocates for seniors, Lisa Madigan has also worked relentlessly to prevent physical and sexual abuse of seniors, which often goes unreported.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan believes that when a family makes the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, they have the right to know that their loved ones will be safe. In September 2014, she introduced and worked to pass legislation that would allow video and audio monitoring in nursing homes to ensure the well-being of loved ones. In 2005, she discovered that Emerald Park Nursing Home and other nursing homes across the state were housing violent criminals and sexual predators who were preying on vulnerable seniors. She successfully closed Emerald Park but realized that the problem extended far beyond this one facility.

In 2006, Attorney General Madigan moved to prevent convicted sexual predators from being placed in long-term care facilities without the knowledge of administrators, staff, patients or their families. She initiated new laws to ensure that long-term care residents receive greater protection from sex offenders and violent felons. Lisa Madigan was also instrumental in drafting legislation that improves nursing home safety by increasing fines and oversight by government agencies.

Laws are only as good as their enforcement so in February 2010 Attorney General Madigan launched a new initiative dubbed “Operation Guardian,” which brings together state and local law enforcement and health inspectors to conduct unannounced top-to-bottom inspections of nursing homes to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations and to remove residents with outstanding arrest warrants. In doing so, Lisa Madigan and local enforcement agencies have identified nearly one hundred criminals living in nursing homes who pose a potential threat to the safety of other, vulnerable residents.

The Attorney General continues to fight to protect older Illinoisans from fraud, abuse and neglect in order to preserve their dignity and to ensure that they are treated with the respect they deserve.

Michelle Young