Mark Alanson

The Project

Mark provides legal services and community outreach to low income elders of Cook County, Illinois who are facing legal issues related to abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

The vulnerable elderly population in the Greater Chicago Area is growing. Elderly clients are in need of a victim advocate to providing legal consultation and representation. These individuals suffer various forms of elder abuse and need assistance with matters such as powers of attorney, guardianships, monitoring credit reports, etc.

 

The Project

Provide legal services and community outreach to low-income elders of Cook County, Illinois who are facing legal issues related to abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

The vulnerable elderly population in the Greater Chicago Area is growing. Elderly clients are in need of a victim advocate to providing legal consultation and representation. These individuals suffer various forms of elder abuse and need assistance with matters such as powers of attorney, guardianships, monitoring credit reports, etc.

The Project

Provide civil legal assistance and legal recovery resources to elders who are victims of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. The Project assists qualifying elders in, for example, obtaining and sustaining public benefits, acquiring and maintaining safe housing, and receiving nursing home or Home & Community Based Services where appropriate. All of these needs intersect with one another and often require the assistance of legal counsel to navigate.

The Project

As a Fellow in the Elder Justice AmeriCorps program, Andrew assisted vulnerable older Iowans who are often victimized by family, friends, and caretakers without consequence. While there are governmental avenues for addressing elder abuse in Iowa, many victims do not meet the legal criteria necessary for government intervention. Many low-income victims cannot afford or otherwise access an attorney who can help. Andrew vindicated the rights of Iowans who experienced elder abuse and educated the public about the issue.

Fellowship Highlights

Andrew’s work representing one low-income and disabled older Iowan who was being financially exploited by her Social Security representative payee led to the exploiter’s criminal prosecution after it was discovered the payee had been purchasing steak and beer for herself with the victim’s limited income. Andrew represented another older, disabled Iowa woman in successfully obtaining an elder abuse protection order against the two adults who had taken control of her home, were using drugs inside it, threatening the client, living in squalor, and refusing to leave. In another case, Andrew helped bring to light evidence that his client’s daughter, who had civilly committed the client for mental illness, stole her credit card and went on a spending spree while the victim was confined.

Next Steps

After the Fellowship, Andrew joined the Consumer Protection Division of the Iowa Department of Justice as Assistant Iowa Attorney General. He protects consumers from health fraud, door-to-door sales regulation violations, government imposter scams, fraudulent mailer solicitations, and other similar activities. Andrew seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, and civil penalties on behalf of Iowa and often prosecutes those who target older Iowans. His work has returned thousands of dollars to hundreds of Iowa consumers and permanently ceased many scammer companies and individuals from operating in Iowa.

Media

Where Are They Now: Equal Justice Works Alumni Reflections Panel

The Project

Eric Charette provided legal assistance to older adults in order to assist victims of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation and empower disenfranchised individuals so that they can secure the justice they deserve.

Abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of older adults is an unfortunately growing problem that is grossly under reported and thus, victims of these abuses are underserved. The older adult population is in need of accessible legal assistance in order to give them the power, resources, and protection necessary to confront their abusers and secure justice for themselves.

 

The Project

Represent adults 60 and older in abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation cases. This project ensures that elders are taken care of in later life through guardianship or power of attorneys. The project protects elders from abusive situations and financial exploitation and connects the community senior service providers to create a support system for elders.

 

The Project

Legally assist elder victims who have been abused, neglected, and/or financially exploited.

There is a high demand for legal services among the elder population in Montana. This project helps elders learn their legal rights. Most elders do not understand what a guardianship or power of attorney entails.

 

The Project

Impoverished seniors in Tennessee have to fight bureaucracy for every benefit they hope to receive. Shelby’s project screened clients who have experienced abuse and help them navigate the healthcare system, housing obstacles, and financial scams to become safer and more equipped to enjoy their lives. Through her Elder Justice AmeriCorps Fellowship, Shelby advocated for low-income seniors facing barriers to healthcare and independent living as a result of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation.

The Project

Elise prevented elder financial abuse and educating both seniors and attorneys about seniors’ rights in the area of elder financial abuse.

This project helps provide direct representation to seniors experiencing elder financial abuse. Additionally, the project helps prevent future iterations of elder financial abuse by assisting seniors execute powers of attorney and explaining the power of advance directives. Finally, it provides preventive services by educating seniors on their rights, as education is one of the leading causes behind the perpetration and success of financial abuse.

 

The Project

Provide direct representation of elderly victims of abuse, build teams of service providers, and educate the community. This project addresses the lack of resources, provides a legal route to address abuse and exploitation, and gives elderly people here a sense of dignity they have not had before. Also, this area lacks multidisciplinary networks to address elder issues, and my project partially focuses on bringing service providers together.