IDOA Aging Tips for Winter

​Mike Dropka (312) 814-8449
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 IL Department on Aging Tips for Winter Weather Preparedness

Health hazards to be aware of during the winter that could affect older adults

Springfield, IL - To prepare for the dangers of the winter weather storms predicted over the next few days, the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) today urged older Illinoisans and their families to recognize that winter poses a special threat to seniors and has compiled a list of tips and signs to look out for to avoid serious safety and health complications. The environmental conditions during winter in Illinois poses a health risk to all residents, especially those in the older adult community. Older residents who do not have full mobility or live in isolation should have a plan of action in emergency weather conditions, such as snow storms and extremely cold temperatures. Those living in isolation should also have a contact to check in with during extreme winter weather situations.

IDoA has identified some health problems that can be brought on by severe winter weather:


  • The "flu" is a contagious respiratory infection. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose and soreness and aching in the back, arms and legs.
  • For older persons who have a chronic health problem, the flu can result in serious complications, such as pneumonia.
  • Flu shots are recommended for all persons aged 65 years and older and for those who suffer from chronic health problems, such as heart disease, respiratory problems, renal disease, diabetes, anemia or any disease that weakens the body's immune system (consult your doctor before getting a flu shot on your own).


  • This is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops to 95 degrees or less.
  • Symptoms include slow or slurred speech, incoherence, memory loss, disorientation, uncontrollable shivering, drowsiness, repeated stumbling and apparent exhaustion.
  • It is recommended that older persons should not set their thermostats below 65 degrees during the winter months.
  • Even mild indoor temperatures of 60 - 65 degrees can trigger hypothermia.


  • Exposed areas of the face (cheeks, nose, chin and forehead), ears, wrists, hands and feet are most affected by frostbite.
  • Symptoms are loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance to the skin.
  • To treat frostbite, warm the affected part of the body gradually. Wrap the frostbitten area in blankets, sweaters, coats, etc.
  • Caution: Do not rub the affected areas, severe damage to the tissue can occur.

The State of Illinois offers warming centers for all individuals to escape the harsh winter cold. Local warming centers at, or by calling the toll-free Keep Warm Illinois hotline at 1-877-411-WARM.

Please visit the IDoA website for more information on winter storm safety preparedness at:

For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, contact the Department on Aging Senior HelpLine at (800) 252-8966.


IL Department on Aging Tips for Winter Weather Preparedness​​

McLean County Government Press Release

For Immediate Release
DATE: January 24, 2019                                                                                                        

Kathy Michael, County Clerk                           Paul Shannon, Executive Director
McLean County Clerk’s Office                         Bloomington Board of Election Commissioners
115 E. Washington St. Room 102                   115 E. Washington St. Room 403
PO Box 2400                                                   PO Box 2400
Bloomington, IL  61702-2400                          Bloomington, IL  61702-2400    
309-888-5588                                                  309-888-5136
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Voter Registration closes Tuesday March 5, 2019 for the above election.  If are not able to register by March 5th you may do so online through March 17th .  You may Grace period register AND vote from March 6th through and including Election Day.  If you have questions or need more information, dates and times and live outside of the City of Bloomington please call the office of McLean County Clerk’s office, at 309-888-5588 and residents of the City of Bloomington should call the Board of Election Commissioners, 309-888-5136. 


Voter assistance will be available in all polling places in McLean County and the City of Bloomington.  In extreme situations, with prior notification, judges are available to assist you in your vehicle at the polls.

You may request a Vote by Mail Ballot Application by calling our offices.  You may also submit your request online from our websites. Upon receipt of your completed and signed application, your ballot will be mailed toward the end of February.  If you wish, you may be eligible to receive a Vote by Mail Application for a ballot for each subsequent election. Call the appropriate telephone number above to receive more information as to eligibility.   

Registered voters may early vote by personal appearance in the office of the McLean County Clerk (county residents who live outside the City of Bloomington) or the Bloomington Board of Election Commissioners (Residents within the City of Bloomington).  Please check our websites for all updated election information, including Early Voting dates, times and locations.

Information on the 2019 Consolidated Election visit our main pages

Information on the Candidates please see the links listed below Bloomington Election Commission and also McLean County Clerk


House Passes Short-Term Money Follows the Person Extension  
Ask Your Senators to Approve the Bill This Week!


Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217) by an overwhelming margin of 400-11. The bill includes a provision extending the Medicaid Money Follows the Person (MFP) program for three months. This short-term patch would help states bridge the current funding gap until Congress hopefully approves a longer authorization. Advocates should urge their Senators to support the IMPROVE Act, which could be considered in that chamber this week!
Since 2005, the MFP program has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of older adults and people with disabilities transition from institutional settings to the community. New funding for MFP program expired in 2016, although states have been able to spend down existing MFP funding until the end of 2018—which is less than two weeks away! Advocates and lawmakers have been working to promote bipartisan bills in both the House and Senate that would provide additional funding for states to continue rebalancing their Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs.
Since the MFP program began, nearly 90,000 people have used the program to transition from an institutional setting back to their community. Ongoing funding is essential to maintain the MFP program infrastructure in many states. While n4a and other national, state and local aging advocates have rallied around the importance of a long-term reauthorization for the MFP program, end-of-the-year and lame-duck congressional dynamics made that bid unlikely, hence the three-month extension.
Current Status of MFP Reauthorization
Earlier this year, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced the bipartisan EMPOWER Care Act (S. 2227 and H.R. 5306) that would reauthorize MFP for five years. In the fall, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a shorter, one-year extension of the program.
Unfortunately, concerns about cost and the lack of an obvious legislative vehicle for the proposal meant that in order to provide any continuity for the program, lawmakers must first pass a shorter-term solution to keep funding flowing until the next Congress convenes in January.
The House passed this legislative patch last week, and the Senate could take action through a process known as unanimous consent (reserved for non-controversial bills) this week, but only if advocates make their voices heard now!
How You Can Take Action Now!

  • Reach out and tell your Senators why MFP is so important to older adults and people with disabilities in your community! We are asking that state advocates call both the DC and local offices of your Senators and ask them to pass the IMPROVE Act. Outreach on MFP is especially important to Republican Senators Toomey (PA), Cruz (TX), Paul (KY) and McConnell (KY), who serve on committees that have jurisdiction over this issue. 

    Make sure to personalize your outreach with local facts about MFP—which may not be called MFP in your state—and success stories you can share. Make sure to clarify how MFP benefits older adults and people with disabilities in your community. 
  • Make sure to say THANK YOU if your Senator has signed on as a supporter of MFP! If your Senator has already cosponsored the EMPOWER Care Act, thank them for their support and make sure to let them know that the Senate could pass the IMPROVE Act via Unanimous Consent this week! 
  • Engage your community! Please encourage your providers, advisory boards and partners, and consumers to take action by engaging your Senators! Use the sample text below to encourage stakeholders to call and/or email their Senators. U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202.224.3121. Email:

MFP gives people the right to decide where they live and receive home and community-based services and supports. It provides assistance to help older adults and people with disabilities transition out of institutional settings back to the community, regaining their independence while saving Medicaid dollars.
Since 2005, MFP has assisted more than 88,000 people with moving back to the community, and has helped 44 states improve access to home and community-based services. MFP is a program that helps everyone win: individuals regain their independence, and state and federal governments save money because it costs less to provide services and supports in the community rather than in an institution.
Congress must extend funding for MFP or states will be unable to continue this vital cost-effective program that promotes independence for older adults and people with disabilities. Please consider supporting the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217) today!

 Thank you for your advocacy on this important issue!

If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Amy Gotwals at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

n4a Advocacy Alert - September 24, 2018

Making a Final Push for FY 2019 Aging Funding
Congress Could Finalize This Week!


For the first time in many years, lawmakers are poised to pass a final FY 2019 funding bill for many Older Americans Act (OAA) and other aging programs by the October 1 start of the fiscal year. This week the House will take up a Senate-passed bill pairing funding for defense and the bulk of non-defense discretionary federal spending. But nothing is ever certain in Washington, DC these days, and your House lawmakers need to hear from YOU about why advancing this federal funding bill is so important for the older adults and caregivers you serve via OAA and other aging programs.
The $855 billion funding bill contains $178 billion for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies—including funding for the Administration for Community Living and its Administration on Aging. The measure preserves the historic FY 2018 increases for many OAA programs. It also provides additional increases for some aging line items, including for OAA Title VI Native American aging programs and Title III-C Nutrition services. (n4a primary members can see our recent Legislative Update for additional details on the compromise bill.)
The Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill last week in a vote of 93-7, and the House is expected to follow suit this week. In order to attract additional support on a tight timeline, appropriators also attached a provision to the measure that would continue current funding for discretionary programs that have yet to receive congressional approval (a continuing resolution), aiming to alleviate the threat of a partial government shutdown ahead of the November elections. The House is expected to take up the funding proposal as early as tomorrow.
It is important to reach out NOW to encourage your members to support funding for Older Americans Act and other aging programs!
We’re Almost There—Why We Need Your Advocacy
We expect that the House will pass this important funding this week, but there is some opposition from the House Freedom Caucus on the size of the package and the President on the amount of border wall funding, so it is critical that your lawmakers understand the value of OAA programs and the vital role they play in keeping older adults safe, healthy and living independently in their homes and communities. It is also important that your Representatives understand why it is essential that Congress avoid funding gaps and instead provide budget certainty to already constrained local aging programs and services.
We need all AAAs, Title VI Native American programs and all your local allies to raise our collective voices in support of advancing funding for Older Americans Act and other aging programs this week!
Action Steps:

  • Contact your Representatives NOW to advocate for funding for OAA programs and services. The House of Representatives is taking a critical vote this week to advance the bulk of federal non-defense discretionary funding, and your lawmakers need to understand how important these programs are to older adults and caregivers in their districts. You can reach out using the following messages. 

Last week, the Senate passed an important measure to preserve FY 2018 increases to Older Americans Act (OAA) Subtitles III B, C, D and E, which means that older adults will continue to receive in-home services, home-delivered and congregate meals, transportation, caregiver supports, evidence-based health and wellness programs and other essential local services that enable them to maintain their health and independence for as long as possible. The bill also provides much-needed modest increases to OAA Title VI Native American aging programs in the areas of nutrition and caregiver supports.
We hope you will support funding for OAA and other essential aging programs when the House takes up the Department of Defense and Labor-HHS appropriations proposal this week. It is important that Members of Congress meet the FY 2019 October 1 deadline to provide funding certainty for critical OAA programs and services.

Federal funding for all of these aging services is essential to promoting and preserving the health and independence of millions of people, including the older adults and caregivers we serve in your district.

  • Say THANK YOU if your Representative supports essential aging funding! It is important that lawmakers hear from constituents when they support funding and policy proposals that support the ability of older adults and caregivers to live with health and dignity in their districts and states. If you know that your Member of Congress supports vital OAA funding, please ensure that you thank them! 
  • Engage your community! Please encourage your providers, advisory boards, partners and consumers to take action by engaging your Representatives today and tomorrow before the House considers this funding proposal. You can call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 or find additional contact information online at

Note: as you reach out it’s also important to PERSONALIZE the emails you send and share anecdotes about how important federal funding is for the programs in your community.
Thank you for your advocacy on this important issue!

If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Amy Gotwals at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

n4a 2017 Home for Holidays Campaign

logoNational Association of Area Agencies on Aging

2017 Home for the Holidays Campaign

Living Well with Dementia in the Community:
Resources and Support


The Eldercare Locator and n4a have launched a national public education campaign, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and Dementia Friendly America, to ensure that older adults and their caregivers are aware of the many home and community-based services and other aging programs available in communities around the country to support individuals with dementia.

This topic is the focus of the annual Eldercare LocatorHome for the Holidays campaign, developed to encourage discussion of important issues affecting older Americans at a time of the year when family and friends often gather. Past campaigns have addressed the growing problem of social isolation and loneliness and focused on strategies to help older adults transition to a non-driving future.

To help educate the public and key stakeholders about this issue, n4a produced a consumer brochure, Living Well with Dementia in the Community: Resources and Support, and a handy toolkit with all of the resources that members of the Aging Network need to support the campaign in their communities. To order the brochure, please visit the Eldercare Locator online store.

On December 14, n4a hosted a webinar on the Home for the Holidays campaign and how agencies can get involved in helping to increase community awareness. The webinar featured presenters from the Eldercare LocatorDementia Friendly America, the Alzheimer's AssociationMetropolitan Area Agency on Aging and the Gila River Indian CommunityView the webinar recording.



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