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  2001 Press Releases  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jan Costello
Phone: 217-785-9020, TTY: 1-800-252-8966

November 16, 2001

Illinois Department on Aging
Trains Gatekeepers

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department on Aging has partnered with the CILCO Utility Company to train "Gatekeepers," or people educated about what to do when distressing situations arise involving senior citizens.

"Gatekeepers are customer service representatives, linemen, meter readers, or anyone who might notice that a vulnerable and isolated individual needs help," said Illinois Department on Aging Director Margo E. Schreiber.

Schreiber said CILCO’s entire service area is being trained. The area extends 4,500 miles and covers 150 communities in central and east central Illinois, and includes Peoria and Springfield.

"We commend CILCO for its commitment to the Gatekeeper program which has proved to be one of the most successful and rewarding community outreach programs," Schreiber said.

Gatekeepers are not expected to be social workers or counselors. Rather, they are trained to recognize danger signs and to call (the Illinois Department on Aging’s Senior HelpLine at
1-800-252-8966, Voice & TTY) to report that someone is in need of assistance or services. Local professionals then take appropriate action.

In addition to CILCO, other utility companies that participate in the Gatekeeper Program are: Commonwealth Edison; United Cities Gas; Union Electric; Peoples Gas; Illinois Power; Central Illinois Public Service Company; NiCor Gas; GTE; and the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives.

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For more information, call the Illinois Department on Aging's Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (Voice and TTY).



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