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).

Illinois Aging Network - 03-25-19

Illinois Aging Network Alert March 25, 2019

A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors.

The Illinois Aging Network celebrates Governor Pritzker’s nomination of Paula Basta for Illinois Department on Aging Director, but fears lack of timely state funds will hurt aging services!

The Illinois Aging Network is pleased to support Governor J.B. Pritzker’s appointment of Paula Basta as the new head of the Illinois Department on Aging and recommends her for Senate confirmation. We are delighted to have an appointee knowledgeable about the aging community and the programs offered through the Illinois Department on Aging and the network of Area Agencies on Aging designated under the federal Older Americans Act.

Ms. Basta’s first challenge as acting director will be to address the impact of the slow state of General Revenue Fund (GRF) cash flow to Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). To date, the 13 AAAs in Illinois have received only 22-44% of their state funds but should have received 67% of allocated funds.

Without consistent payments of these critical funds, our providers cannot deliver services. The Aging Network is owed approximately $15,000,000 in state funds which means that

  • 1.5 million+ meals are in jeopardy
  • 200,000+ older adults’ requests for information and assistance may go unanswered
  • 20,000+ residents of long-term care facilities will have no one to speak up for them

These critical funds are essential for delivering services such as home delivered meals and transportation that keep older adults independent in their own homes instead of costlier long-term care facilities. When funding slows, programs get scaled back resulting in waiting lists, loss of essential staff positions, and loss of volunteers. Once a staff member or volunteer is lost, it is very difficult to recruit and train new staff and volunteers to maintain service delivery.

The Illinois Aging Network supports the confirmation of Paula Basta as the Director of the Department on Aging and we encourage the timely cash flow of state general revenue funds to support critical aging services for older adults in 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 – March 13, 2019



Illinois Aging Network Alert – March 13, 2019
A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois seniors

The Illinois Aging Network Addresses Social Isolation

Social isolation is a growing concern around the world. The United Kingdom even created the office of Minister of Social Isolation to address it in that country. 

In Illinois, social isolation is becoming a health epidemic. The good news is that for over 45 years, the Area Agencies on Aging’s local network of Older American Act funded services and supports continue to reduce social isolation among older adults.

After special presentations at the last two National Association of Area Agencies on Aging conferences by the AARP Foundation, Illinois decided to concentrate extra effort on this concern. The 13 Area Agencies on Aging along with the Illinois Department on Aging will work together through the statewide initiative to raise awareness and provide a statewide impact to reduce social isolation among Illinois’ older adults. 

Social isolation is more than being alone. It is the result of feeling detached physically or psychologically or of being disconnected from the support of family, friends, and community. It is characterized by a lack of meaningful relationships, a desire for contact with more people, and/or feelings that relationships are inadequate.

A report from AARP documented that an estimated 17% of older adults were socially isolated* with risk factors that include such indicators as: 

  • Living alone
  • Major life transitions
  • Limited English speaking
  • Caregiving for someone with severe impairment
  • Socioeconomic status (i.e. low income or limited resources)
  • Mobility or sensory impairment
  • Rural distances, and urban crime isolation, etc.

The Illinois response to this issue is being developed and will be one of the first challenges for the new Illinois Department on Aging Director. At stake are the health and financial risks of social isolation:

  • Increased mortality in older adults (26%)
  • Health risks of ongoing isolation is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day
  • Greater risk of falls and self-neglect
  • Higher health care costs including increased incidents of dementia
  • Increased risk for hospital readmission and reliance on short-term rehab and skilled nursing home care

Future I4A Alerts will offer more on our efforts to increase awareness and counter the negative effects of social isolation. Representatives from your Area Agency on Aging will be in touch to share the wonderful work going on in your district for older adults, caregivers, grandparents raising grandchildren, and individuals with disabilities.

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

*Statistics in this document were found in the following source: Elder, Katie and Jess Retrum. 2012. “Framework for Isolation in Adults Over 50.” AARP Foundation.

Illinois Aging Network Alert – February 27, 2019

alertIllinois Aging Network Alert – February 27, 2019

A report of the impact Area Agencies on Aging have on Illinois Seniors, from I4A - Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
Contact:  Susan C. Real 309-829-2065 (Leg. Chair) or Joy Paeth 618-222-2561 (I4A President)

Illinois Area Agencies on Aging serve 559,000 older adults, family caregivers and grandparents raising grandchildren by supporting a network of over 230 community programs on aging.  This Alert will focus on Senior Nutrition Services in Illinois.

(Source: Survey from AAAs Program Data for FY 2018)

  • 40,781 older adults received over 7 million home delivered meals.
  • 74,943 older adults were served over 2.1 million meals at congregate meal settings (such as senior centers).

(Source:  ECIAAA Participant Survey Results FY 2018)

  • 55% of congregate meal participants indicate the meal served at the site is their main source of food;
  • Nearly 10% indicate they had to skip meals because they had no food or money.
  • 87% of congregate meal participants and nearly 92% of home-delivered meal recipients report they eat healthier;
  • Slightly more than 80% of congregate meal participants indicate they feel better and 76% report improved health;
  • 66% of home-delivered meal recipients think their health has improved and indicate they feel better;
  • 67% of participants indicate they make more healthful and nutritious food choices because of participating in a congregate meals program.


Cost of Home Delivered Meals for One Senior for Entire Year (365 Days)

Cost of 1 Day of Hospital Care

Cost of 10 Days in Nursing Home




Source:  Meals on Wheels America. 2018.  “Delivering So Much More Than a Meal in Illinois.”

Get in touch


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