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County agencies join forces on ‘triad’ to support seniors

DeKalb County officials signed an agreement Thursday to start a triad for area senior citizens.

Law enforcement, elderly care facilities and community service organizations will cooperate to come up with senior citizen programs that are responsive within the community, said Dave Miller, Family Service Agency representative.

The triad will help protect seniors against fraud and abuse, and offer emergency response strategies.

Ann Carlson, Sycamore police officer, will be the president of the organization, which will be similar to ones already in place in several other cities across the country.

“We’re trying to create a partnership to network between law enforcement, the senior population and the community to make sure needs are being met,” Carlson said. “We’re doing all we can do to help them.”

The DeKalb County Triad will mirror the triad in Elgin, Carlson said. Elgin’s triad offers an annual picnic, vehicle inspection checks and surveys, to name a few of its services.

Carlson and Miller said the local senior citizen population is growing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012, 10.4 percent of DeKalb County’s population consisted of people who are 65 years old or older.

“Now is the time to put programs like the triad in place to start building infrastructure and support the growing senior population,” Miller said.

Triad members will survey senior citizens to determine what they think their needs are, Miller said. The survey, which will be used as a planning tool, will ask seniors what programs will benefit them and what their concerns are, Miller said.

The organization will also distribute emergency forms with lists of medical contacts, what medicines the seniors are taking and who their doctors are, Miller said.

Future programs include offering a Yellow Dot car program, which assists seniors in the event of a car accident, and a fashion show that will teach seniors how to distinguish whether someone at the door is a legitimate official, Miller said.

There is no source of funding for the triad, Carlson said. For now, the program will rely on volunteer efforts and personnel who already have signed the agreement.

DeKalb police Chief Gene Lowery said the triad will supplement the services the DeKalb Police Department already provides for seniors.

“Every time multiple agencies join forces, we have a greater probability in accomplishing a goal,” Lowery said.

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