Illinois Aging Network Alert June 14, 2019

I4A

alertIllinois Aging Network Alert June 14, 2019
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors.

The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) became law in 2014 to establish consistent, federally compliant requirements for all grants regardless of the source of funding.  Recognizing that 66% of Illinois‘ general revenue budget are grants the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging believes that is GATA is good government.  However, the implementation of GATA has not been an example of good government but rather a tremendous strain and stretch on the people resources of organizations in Illinois.

The implementation of GATA began at the height of the Illinois Budget crisis.  During this time organizations were not receiving payments from the state and were laying off or terminating employees.  These organizations were just trying to maintain and were required to learn a new system to get their payments.  Training was made available, but the time and people resources were so limited during this time it made learning GATA processes even more difficult.  The format of the budget requires much more minutia and trivial details creating only math challenges for administrators which is an unproductive use of time.

The process of implementing GATA could have been slowed with greater input from stakeholders.  State agencies were also struggling with the speed of which information was being disseminated and were not always able to assist with questions. Currently, workgroups have been established to develop a uniform template for grants management.  These workgroups seem to be an attempt to involve more individuals but once again the process is being rushed and outside input is not being considered.  We must take a step back with the GATA process before taking another huge leap forward.

The Federally mandated Area Plan on Aging budget for Area Agencies on Aging is proving to be an issue for the GATA implementation.  There is some ability to customize grant budget but at a monetary cost of each state department making the request for customization.  If GATA seeks to fully implement the process they must provide support to it’s departments and embrace stakeholder input. 

Lawmakers must understand the time and effort involved to implement a worthwhile project like GATA.  When the process is rushed not allowing input or proper guidance Illinois grantees will be spending more time and effort on implementing GATA than serving the people of Illinois.  We ask for your support in making GATA implementation a positive process for Illinois.  I4A offers the following suggestions:

  • Slow the process down to extend over FY20
  • Improve communication to all stakeholders with clear descriptions of the workgroups and clear assignments that assure representatives from all stakeholder groups are represented on each workgroup
  • Complete an assessment of the financial impact for all state agencies and grantees

For more information, contact Susan C. Real, Legislative Chair (309-829-2065 ext. 218) or Joy Paeth, I4A President (618-222-2561).

Illinois Aging Network Alert June 07, 2019

I4A

I4A Alert

Illinois Aging Network Alert June 7, 2019
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors.

Thank You for Passing the FY 2020 Budget!

The Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging wishes to the thank members of the Illinois General Assembly for passing a state budget and Governor Pritzker for signing into law. By putting Illinoisans first, the legislators were able to cross party lines and champion bi-partisan issues including initiatives to help serve older adults in Illinois. This effort demonstrates that legislators made fiscal responsibility a priority while maintaining a level of quality for government-supported programs.

Illinois Seniors Will Receive Needed Support:

  • Additional funding for the Home Delivered Meals program will help maintain current numbers of people being served, the quality of the meals, and to help address current waiting lists of recipients wanting Home Delivered Meals.
  • Additional funding will expand assistance to caregivers helping persons dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia. Most individuals with Alzheimer’s and related dementia live at home with a caregiver. This funding will help address issues that may otherwise force these people into an institutional living situation.
  • Funding was added to help start a new initiative to address social isolation in older adults which can lead to many health problems. This will start saving Illinois money with fewer health-related costs and keeping older adults independent and healthy longer.
  • More funding for the Senior Health Assistance Program (SHAP) to assist older adults with Benefit Access Applications. This program helps older adults with transportation needs and license plate discounts. Access to transportation and the related costs can be a barrier for older adults to get basic needs such as food and access to medical help.

Thank you for recognizing the needs of the growing senior population in Illinois and working together to approve a budget for the people of Illinois.

For more information, contact Susan C. Real, Legislative Chair (309-829-2065 ext. 218) or Joy Paeth, I4A President (618-222-2561).

Illinois Aging Network Alert May 24, 2019

I4Aalert

Illinois Aging Network Alert May 24, 2019
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors.


Your Support is Vital in Assuring Accuracy in the 2020 Illinois Census!

An accurate count in Illinois is vital in assuring Illinois receives its fair share in Federal dollars and representation in Washington D.C.  An accurate count of our seniors is vital to assure our senior population will receive the funds to serve our rising senior population.   

If the Illinois census is undercounted in 2020 – we can anticipate the following:

  • Illinois could lose two congressional seats.
  • Illinois could lose seats in the Electoral College, thus decreasing our influence in future Presidential elections.
  • Illinois could lose a significant portion of our state’s annual allotment of $19.7 billion in federal dollars if immigrant, rural communities, low income communities and ethnic populations are not counted in 2020.
  • In total, Illinois could lose $1.2 billion in funding over the next decade if our state’s census in undercounted, which could come out to $18,000 per each person.

Other Issues Impacting Undercounting:

  • Lack of trust in our government, especially if a citizenship question is added to the form. An estimate of noncitizens living in Illinois is nearly 1 million people, which accounts for 7% of our population.  Our federal constitution mandates that all persons be counted.
  • Internet based - Many residents do not have access to internet, especially low income and rural households. This is especially a problem with our seniors, since many seniors are not computer savvy and do not have access to the internet.
  • History tells us that young children, minorities, immigrants, low income, rural, people with disabilities, homeless, LGBTQ community has been undercounted.

What can be done to ensure a complete and accurate counting? 

Illinois must invest in the census.  The Illinois Complete Count Commission is asking for $25 million in state funds for outreach, especially to “hard to count groups” such as rural and minority residents, educate people on using the internet, and to promote the importance of completing the census.  Correction:  We are also asking the General Assembly to support 2020 Census funding to the Illinois Department on Aging so we can reach out to older Illinoisans to complete the census.

We must invest in our census and invest for our future.   Your support is vital to assure an accurate census count in 2020!  Thank you!

For more information, contact Susan C. Real, Legislative Chair (309-829-2065 ext. 218) or Joy Paeth, I4A President (618-222-2561).

Illinois Aging Network Alert - May 07, 2019

I4Aalert
Illinois Aging Network Alert – May 7, 2019
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors.

Illinois Area Agencies on Aging and the 230 community organizations that receive support from the Older Americans Act and the Illinois Act on Aging thank Governor Pritzker for including funding in his 2020 budget to assist with implementing the $15.00 minimum wage rollout in Illinois. Without this increase in state funding the Aging Network would have had to decrease services to older adults in Illinois or make the decision to lay off employees.   

The increase in the minimum wage not only impacts the people we employ who receive minimum wage it impacts all our employees. Area Agencies on Aging and the 230 local community organizations we fund will also need to raise the wages of most other employees to a level commensurate with their job duties. If we do not do this, we will be compressing wages for our employees who earn above $15.00 per hour. Their wages also need to be livable wages that reflect their level of job responsibilities.  

Please support Illinois Area Agencies on Aging and the 230 non-profit and government entities who partner with us and receive federal Older Americans Act and Illinois state funds so we can continue providing services and programs for Illinois older adults. The table below delineates the funding needed to fully implement the $15.00 minimum wage roll out and maintain the wage levels of all employees of the Area Agencies on Aging and our grantees.  

i4a alert 5.7.19

Employees of the Aging Network impact the lives of 559,000 older persons and their family caregivers by assisting them to access community-based services. Accessing these services enhance the older person’s ability to remain in their own home in their local community.

For more information, contact Susan C. Real, I4A Legislative Chair (309-829-2065 ext. 218) or Joy Paeth, I4A President (618-222-2561).

Illinois Aging Network Alert - April 26, 2019

I4A

alertIllinois Aging Network Alert – April 26, 2019
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors

 

Your Support Is Needed For Vital Services for Your Older Constituents!

The Illinois Area Agencies on Aging, the 230 community organizations that receive support from the Older Americans Act and Illinois Act on Aging, and the 559,000 older persons and their family caregivers who receive help from the Aging Network are alerting you to our support for Governor Pritzker’s proposed funding of the aging network.  In addition, we request $475,000 for the 2020 U.S. Census.    Appropriations must preserve current levels of funding for Planning and Service Grants, Home Delivered Meals, Senior Health Assistance Program, Adult Protective Services, and the Community Care Program through proposed increases to the following:

The Governor’s Budget includes $1,000,000 for Services to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Related Dementias to build an improved system of support for families and individuals facing the challenges of dementia. We will address, with the families and the victims of this condition, changes in self-management abilities, judgement and behavior, realizing that an estimated 70% of older adults with Alzheimer’s and other dementias live in their own homes and community.  (Source: Alzheimers Association. 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Publication #: Alzheimer’s Dement. 2019;15(3) 321-87).

The Governor’s Budget includes $1,000,000 for Services to Combat Social Isolation – A growing health epidemic, associated with increased mortality (26%) rates in older adults, Social Isolation is linked to adverse health effects including dementia, increased risks for hospital stays, readmissions and increased risk of falls.  Studies show that healthcare costs associated with isolation equal costs of high blood pressureSocial

Isolation defined:  As bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.   (Source: AARP’s Framework for Isolation in Adults Over 50, 2012).

The Governor’s Budget includes $900,000 for Planning and Service grants to Illinois Aging Network

Agencies to help offset the costs associated with the increase in Minimum Wage for FY 2020. Illinois Aging Network agencies will have to cut services to vulnerable elderly to comply with the Illinois minimum wage increase if this needed funding is not approved.

The Governor’s Budget includes an additional $2,000,000 for Home Delivered Meals Funding. This funding is needed to keep pace with the growth in demand and need, to eliminate waiting lists and to support daily delivery of meals when possible.

The Governor’s Budget does not include $475,000 for assuring a complete count of older persons in the coming 2020 U.S. Census.  Please consider your constituents and the many older persons who will be asked to file, electronically, their census information!  The Aging Network, made up of the community agencies and locations frequented by older persons, will be pivotal to explaining to, and directly assisting older neighbors to respond and be counted. 

Please Support Illinois Aging Services for FY 2020! 

As we enter the end of the Illinois FY 2020 budget process, the Illinois Aging Network requires your full support for community-based services for your older Constituents.   

For more information, contact Susan C. Real, I4A Legislative Chair (309-829-2065 ext. 218) or Joy Paeth, I4A President (618-222-2561).

  

 

Get in touch

Location

ECIAAA
1003 Maple Hill Road
Bloomington, IL 61705-9327

Contact

Email: aginginfo@eciaaa.org
Phone: 309-829-2065
Fax: 309-829-6021

Opening hours

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Sat-Sun: CLOSED

Seniors

Seniors may call toll free:
Phone: 1-800-888-4456