Illinois Aging Network Alert June 07, 2019


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


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

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


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).



Illinois Aging Network Alert – April 12, 2019

Illinois Aging Network Alert April 12, 2019
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors.

Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act is Vital for the Future of Aging Services!

The current authorization of the Older Americans Act will expire at the end of FY 2019.  Reauthorization generally occurs every 5 years. The Older Americans Act was enacted by the U.S. Congress and signed into law in 1965 through the declaration of the following objectives which are as relevant today:

  • Adequate income in retirement,
  • Best possible physical and mental health,
  • Suitable housing,
  • Efficient community services, including access to low-cost transportation,
  • Immediate benefit from proven research, and
  • Freedom, independence and free exercise of individual initiative in planning and managing their lives.

The Impact of Older Americans Act Services in Illinois (Source: IL FY 2018 AAA Survey):

Older Americans Act (OAA) Services were established to ensure that sustained health, independence and dignity could follow a lifetime of hard work.  The mission of the Older Americans Act is more important now than it was 50 years ago as our State is Aging – by 2030, 1 in 4 Illinoisans will be 60 or older.   The impact in Illinois:

OAA Title III-B Community-Based Services (Information and Benefits Assistance): 389,000 older adults served.

OAA Title III-B Transportation Services: 30,139 older adults received over 450,000 rides.

OAA Title III-C Nutrition Services: 7 million home delivered meals served to 40,781 home-bound older adults, and 2.1 million congregate meals served to 74,943 older adults (in congregate settings such as senior centers).

OAA Title III-E Family Caregiver Services: Over 72,210 family caregivers and grandparents/relatives raising grandchildren/children received support to continue their caregiving responsibilities.

Advocating for the Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act!

The Illinois Aging Network will work with Congress in pursuing a bipartisan, thoughtful, and determined approach to reauthorization that promotes four core principles.

  1. Meet the consumers where they are by protecting local focus and flexibility.  OAA services enable older adults to age in place.  Area Agencies on Aging develop and implement programs from the “bottom up” – truly reflecting the needs of older adults in local communities. Therefore, the reauthorization must preserve the local focus and flexibility maintained by Area Agencies on Aging.
  2. Meet growing needs by increasing investments.  OAA funding constitutes less than 1/3 of 1% of federal discretionary funding.  To meet the demand, an increase of 23% ($2.5 billion) is needed to restore the service capacity of the Aging Network.  Additional funding would reduce waiting lists and expand reach.
  3. Foster innovations in service delivery.  Though the Act’s foundational infrastructure has remained strong for decades, emerging best practices and research have guided changes to its programs and services to meet the needs of a diverse and growing aging population.  
  4. Ease administrative barriers to increase access to services.  Area Agencies on Aging are charged with achieving and maintaining fiscal stewardship and efficiencies.  Additional flexibilities are needed to allow Area Agencies on Aging reduce administrative burdens so they can better address the needs in their local service areas.

May is Older Americans Month!  Please join us in our advocacy efforts as we work together to preserve and improve the foundation of Aging Services through the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act!

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

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1003 Maple Hill Road
Bloomington, IL 61705-9327


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Phone: 309-829-2065
Fax: 309-829-6021

Seniors may call toll free:
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