KLS maintains Elder Rights Project

A sign that says "Elder Law" next to a gavel and books

By Alexandra R. English

The Elder Rights Project, a statewide program conducted by Kansas Legal Services, continues to help aging adults who are 60 years of age or older and who are victims of crime, be it by a caregiver, a relative, a scammer, a landlord, etc.

There are five types of elder abuse: financial exploitation, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and psychological abuse.

Not all types are always criminal. For example, psychological abuse (that does not include a physical threat) may not be considered criminal. However, the presence of psychological abuse is a strong indicator of other kinds of abuse.

The Elder Rights Project allows Kansas Legal Services attorneys to represent elders who are victims of crime in a wide array of legal cases. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • Protection from abuse or stalking cases
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Civil suits to recover financial losses from an abuser
  • Assistance with a Crime Victim’s Compensation application
  • Criminal advocacy (explaining the criminal court process)
  • Bankruptcy
  • Revocation of Power of Attorney
  • Divorce
  • Landlord/tenant cases
  • Collection cases
  • Kansas Consumer Protection Act violations

While Kansas Legal Services usually cannot usually completely undo the grave wrongs that have been perpetrated on these clients, we can take legal actions to put our clients as close to whole as possible and protect them from their abusers in the future.

There are two ways to report elder abuse to the proper authorities:

  1. Call the police. If it is an emergency, call 911. If it is not an emergency, go to the local law enforcement agency’s office and make a report.
  2. Make a report to Adult Protective Services. 1-800-922-5330. You can talk to a Kansas Legal Services attorney face-to-face about senior legal issues, including simple estate planning issues. Call ahead to set up a free 30-minute appointment at one of these monthly “site visits” in Johnson County.

Sunset Building in Olathe: From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second Thursday of every other month, we are at the Kansas Area Agency on Aging, at its offices in the Sunset Building, 11811 S. Sunset Dr. Call 913-715-8860.

Roeland Park Community Center: From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second Thursday of every other month, we are at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood. Call 913-826-3160.

Matt Ross Community Center: From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month, we are at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St., Overland Park. Call 913-826-2830.

You can also apply for our free legal assistance by calling our Kansas City, Kansas office at 913-621-0200 or our state-wide number at 1-800-723-6953, or by completing a KLS Application Online on the KLS website at kansaslegalservices.org.

Alexandra R. English is statewide director of the Kansas Legal Services Elder Rights Project and managing attorney for Kansas Legal Services in its Kansas City, Kansas, offices.