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Our View: A step in the right direction with seniors

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Senior citizens (those older than 65) make up more than 10 percent of DeKalb County’s population, and that percentage will continue to grow in the years ahead.

As much as older people can be an asset to their communities, they also have more specialized needs, particularly when it comes to medical and transportation concerns.

They also make an appealing target for people looking to make a dishonest dollar. All types of financial fraud against seniors, committed over the phone, by email or in person, are increasing along with the senior population.

So it is a positive sign that local authorities are taking note and making an effort to make DeKalb and Sycamore “senior friendly.”

On Thursday, DeKalb Police Chief Eugene Lowery, Sycamore Police Chief Donald Thomas, and Dave Miller of the local Family Service Agency signed off on an agreement to create the DeKalb County Triad.

The triad, which will have Sycamore police officer Ann Carlson as its president, will reach out to local seniors to ask them about their needs and help plan targeted programs that can benefit them.

They also plan to compile and distribute emergency forms for seniors that provide lists of medical contacts, information about medications seniors are taking and who their doctors are, provide a “Yellow Dot” car program for seniors who are in auto accidents, help raise awareness about how to tell legitimate public officials from impostors, and more.

Engaging seniors in the challenges they face could also lead to some new ideas on ways the triad can help.

Many seniors have done much for others during their lives, as parents and grandparents, teachers and mentors. As the senior population continues to grow, we should make sure that the communities they helped build remain safe and livable for them as they age.

The triad agreement is a good step in that direction.

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