I4AIllinois Aging Network Alert
February 18, 2020


The Illinois Family Caregiver Act (2004) is a caregiver support program to assist unpaid (informal) family caregivers through:

  • Short-term support services or living arrangements that provide relief to caregivers
  • Personalized interventions to reduce caregiver stress
  • Training and education on essential caregiving skills, which can delay the need for older adults to receive care in an institutional setting

Caregiving is a role friends and family members willingly and lovingly take on; however, it is a very stressful role.  Most often the caregiver is a spouse or an adult child. 

For the spouse the challenges include the ability and knowledge to provide the care needed.  For adult children the challenges include balancing their own family needs, jobs, and providing the care needed which in many cases poses a role reversal for the Caregiver.

1.5 million Family Caregivers in Illinois provide 1.4 billion hours of unpaid care. However, state funds have never been allocated to support Illinois family caregivers.

Want to Learn More? Please join us during our first Illinois Family Caregiver Act Listening Session in Springfield:

When: Monday, April 27, 2020 from 2:00 – 3:30
Where: Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation
             2A Curtis Theatre Classroom
             228 W. Miller Street Springfield, IL 62702

Let’s get Illinois family caregivers the help and support they deserve!

For more information, contact Susan C. Real, Legislative Chair at 309-829-2065 ext. 218

Illinois Aging Network Alert January 14, 2020



Illinois Aging Network Alert January 14, 2020
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors.

 The 2020 Census is Critically Important to Older Adults

As you know, the Area Agency on Aging in your district is funded by the Federal Older Americans Act (OAA) as well as Illinois GRF and private funds.  The thirteen Area Agencies on Aging collectively serve over 500,000 older adults in Illinois each year.  Fifty-seven percent (57%) of the public funds used to provide such services to older Illinoisans comes from the Federal Older Americans Act. 

Funds flow to the Illinois Department on Aging based on census data.  It is critical that we have an accurate count of older adults.  Each Area Agency on Aging and their program partners are conducting CENSUS 2020 outreach activities to the people they serve and local communities.  Examples range from making public presentations to putting placemats on the tables at Senior Centers. 

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!  If you are speaking to your constituents in a group setting, we would value the opportunity to join you in making a short presentation on CENSUS 2020 and its importance. 

The services provided by Area Agencies on Aging helped divert an estimated 183,903 adults from long-term care facilities in 2018, resulting in cost savings to those individuals and tax payers.  Our programs, such as Home-Delivered Meals, are cost effective and help keep older adults healthier and remain independent.   In 2018 it was estimated the Area Agencies on Aging served 21% of the older population in Illinois and saved over $16.4 billion in healthcare costs.

Thank you for helping us share the message about the importance of completing the census. 

Author – Joy Paeth, Chief Executive Officer, AgeSmart Community Resources

For more information, contact Susan C. Real, Legislative Chair (309-829-2065 ext. 218) or Marla Fronczak, I4A President (630-293-5990).

Illinois Aging Network Alert December 20, 2019



Illinois Aging Network Alert December 20, 2019
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors.

 Support Illinois Family Caregivers –  

 Caregiving, while rewarding, can be an incredibly overwhelming and difficult job at the best of times. Paired with the stress of the holiday season, family caregivers are often at an increased risk for experiencing caregiver burnout.

As a Caregiver, you have to manage an already busy schedule, while leading a double life as a caregiver and/or spouse/parent/employee/friend. During the holidays, you now have to find time to complete holiday shopping, cooking, visit family and friends, and fulfill long standing holiday family traditions and expectations.

Gifts as a Caregiver - One of the best gifts that a caregiver can receive this holiday season is respite care. The Older Americans Act and the National Family Caregiver Support Programs provide grants to fund a range of supports from family caregivers and that funding can go towards support such as respite care. While caregiving can bring families together during the holidays, caregivers also need time off from their caregiving responsibilities. The most recent service data from the Administration for Community Living shows that 604,000 caregivers were provided with respite care services that amounted to nearly 6 million hours of temporary relief. These respite care hours have a huge impact on reducing the overall Medicare funded healthcare costs of the care recipients.

The 13 Area Agencies on Aging in Illinois are able to provide direct assistance to family caregivers using Gap Filling Funds. For the State fiscal year 2020 funds have been granted to Area Agencies on Aging to make additional funding available when above mentioned funding sources fall short.  Respite is often the most requested service from a caregiver and these gap filling funds can go towards providing temporary supervision to a care recipient so that the caregiver can take some time to refresh themselves and at the end of the day become a better caregiver because of it.  

Author – Mike Drew, Executive Director, West Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging

For more information, contact Susan C. Real, Legislative Chair (309-829-2065 ext. 218) or Marla Fronczak, I4A President (630-293-5990).

Illinois Aging Network Alert December 02, 2019


Illinois Aging Network Alert December 02, 2019
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors.
Support Illinois Family Caregivers –
Disease and Related Disorders

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 5 Illinois adults are caregivers. Of these caregivers, about 16% are 65 years of age or older themselves, and almost a third provide care for at least 20 hours per week. In 2017 alone, 16 million family members and friends provided 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the US, at an economic value of more than $232 billion.  The challenges of caring for persons with Alzheimer’s and other dementias can become difficult and overwhelming, especially when intensive care is needed for long periods of time. For many, however, caregiving is also a rewarding experience, bringing family members closer together in a time of great need.  Supporting the caregivers of individuals suffering from dementia allows patients to remain closely connected to loved ones during the process of their disease while simultaneously reducing the overall Medicare funded healthcare costs of those patients.

For the State fiscal year 2020, an additional $1 million in new funding has been included in the Illinois Department on Aging’s budget for the purpose of enhancing the Caregiver Support Programs. Evidence based group and educational programs, such as Savvy Caregiver (techniques for providing care for dementia patients), Stress Busters (group education and support for the personal needs of caregivers) and Matter of Balance (fall prevention education and planning) have been made available for family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD). The 13 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) have developed specific policies for implementing service in their areas, allowing them to play a central role in offering advocacy, information, guidance, and supportive resources to caregivers and their families. The AAA’s also coordinate with education partners to facilitate access to affordable, evidence-informed services, programs, interventions, and supports to reduce stress and improve coping, self-efficacy, and overall health.

In addition, Gap funding is an important and available resource to help “fill the gaps”, where other funding may fall short. These funds may be used for respite care, emergency medication assistance, home modifications, personal alarms, etc. Recent state and national studies support the use of respite assistance in particular as a successful tool in reducing stress, improving quality of life for both care giver and care recipient and a means by which caregivers can be engaged in social activities and support communities. Gap funds can be utilized to address immediate safety and care needs which empower caregivers in their important roles.

For more information, contact Susan C. Real, Legislative Chair (309-829-2065 ext. 218) or Marla Fronczak, I4A President (630-293-5990).

Illinois Aging Network Alert November 21, 2019


alertIllinois Aging Network Alert November 21, 2019
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors.

Support Illinois Family Caregivers -
November Is National Family Caregivers Month!

The annual observance is a time to honor family caregivers across the country. This year’s theme is “Caregiving Around the Clock,” recognizing the challenges that family caregivers face and how they manage them day and night.

  • Morning: The average family caregiver is a working mother of school-aged children. Mornings become a tricky balancing act of getting the kids ready for school, making sure your loved one has what they need for the day, and then getting yourself out the door for work.
  • Throughout the Day: Up to 70 percent of the time, the family caregiver manages the medications. The more serious the condition, the more likely it is that the family caregiver manages the medications for the patient. This means ensuring their loved one is taking medication correctly and maintaining an up-to-date medication list.
  • During the Workday: Six out of 10 family caregivers work full or part time in addition to juggling their caregiving responsibilities at home. Most say they have to cut back on working hours, take a leave of absence, or quit their job entirely.
  • Evening: Evenings are for family time and mealtime. Nutrition is as important for caregivers as it is for their loved ones. Proper nutrition helps maintain strength, energy, stamina and a positive attitude.
  • Late at Night: This might be the only time that family caregivers get a few minutes for themselves to rest and recharge. The chance to take a breather and re-energize is vital so they can be as good a caregiver tomorrow as they were today.
  • Middle of the Night: If loved ones may need to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night on occasion, family caregivers should be prepared ahead of time with what they need to know and what they need to have with them.

The thirteen (13) Illinois Area Agencies on Aging play a key role in planning, funding and coordinating a network of senior programs in designated planning and service areas.

During FY 2018, Illinois Area Agencies on Aging served 48,000 family caregivers of older adults and grandparents/relatives raising grandchildren/children to help them continue their caregiving responsibilities. However, your continued support is vital!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging! 

For more information, contact Susan C. Real, Legislative Chair (309-829-2065 ext. 218) or Marla Fronczak, I4A President (630-293-5990).

Get in touch


1003 Maple Hill Road
Bloomington, IL 61705-9327


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

Opening hours

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm


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