A YEAR TO CELEBRATE!

February 2015

2015 is a year to celebrate for so many reasons, especially for our older Americans!  Together we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Social Security, the 50th anniversaries of Medicare & Medicaid, the 5th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act & the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act. Here's to an exciting year focused on empowering older adults!
balloons_celebrate.jpg
The Older Americans Act Turns 50!
Submitted By: Marla Fronczak,
Community Planning Manager


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act (OAA). The OAA was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. The purpose of the OAA is to provide federal funding to states to deliver vital services to keep people age 60 and older healthy and independent. Services such as home delivered and congregate meals, family caregiver support, in-home assistance, preventive health services, transportation, protection from abuse and other supportive services help 11 million older adults live with dignity and comfort in their homes. These OAA home and community based services play a key role in reducing the risk of nursing home placement. Providing older adults with the knowledge and the availability of supportive services gives them the means to age in place.

The American Gerontological Society of America estimates that the number of people needing long term care is projected to double to 27 million by 2050. With 10,000 adults turning 65 years old every day, the future need for these programs continues to grow which is why the re-authorization of the Older Americans Act is imperative. To learn more about the Older Americans Act and the importance of the re-authorization of this law, please click on the corresponding link-Why the Older Americans Act Matters.

OAA Nutrition Programs Promote Health and Well Being
Submitted by: Ginnie Moore,
Community Planner/Health Educator

Throughout the past 50 years, home delivered and congregate meal programs have provided nutritious meals and social interaction for millions of older adults. In 2014, over 8 million meals were served through OAA funded programs in Illinois.   These congregate and home delivered meal programs provide nutritious meals and reduce social isolation among older adults.

 

Nutrition is an ageless investment in health and well being but has special significance in helping older adults live independently and thrive in the community. Chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease can be prevented or better managed with good nutrition. Muscle and bone strength, energy level, weight management and digestive function also improve with proper nutrition. These health and well being benefits of good nutrition make activities of daily life easier, safer and more manageable for older adults.

 

Nutrition programs are a doorway to social interaction for many older adults. Congregate meal programs provide an opportunity for older adults to dine and socialize with others. Home delivered meals provide a well being check and referral to additional services for those older adults who are home bound.

For more information on the benefits of nutrition for older adults or OAA funded nutrition programs please click on the corresponding link-Benefits of Nutrition for Older Adults & OAA Funded Nutrition Programs.

Long Term Care Facilities to Independent Living
Submitted By: Megan Napierkowski,
TES Team Lead

Making the transition from a Long Term Care (LTC) facility back to the community can be a positive, life-changing experience for a LTC resident. Through a collaborative initiative with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Transition Engagement Specialists at select Area Agencies on Aging support the Illinois Money Follows the Person (MFP) program by working with LTC facility residents who express an interest in moving to the community. This voluntary program assists these individuals in moving to qualified community settings and provides them with person-centered services and supports to be successful.

 

Currently, the Northeastern Illinois Agency on Aging employs Transition Engagement Specialists (TES) in the following counties: DuPage (Colette Jordan), Kane (Glenda Love), Lake (Margaretta Senyah) and Will (Pamela Gembica). Although the TES does not coordinate one's move to the community (this is the role of program Transition Coordinators), they do provide targeted outreach to ensure that LTC facility residents wanting to return to the community receive education on the program and community-based services and supports. They also promote collaboration among Transition Coordinators, Long Term Care Ombudsman and LTC facility staff to improve quality outcomes for MFP consumers transitioning to the community.

 

Since 2008, the Illinois MFP program has assisted over 1,000 people with transitioning from LTC facilities to the community. Although LTC facilities are a necessary component of the long term care spectrum, LTC residents who have the desire and drive to live in the community, and can do so safely, should be given the opportunity. For more information on the Illinois MFP program & the TES initiative, please click the corresponding link- Illinois MFP ProgramTES Fact Sheet.

Happenings
Stay Connected
Fact:

1 in 5 older adults
(11 million people)
receive services from an Older Americans Act program

SAVE THE DATE!

April 10, 2015

Agency on Aging 
41st Annual Meeting
Arrowhead Golf Club
Wheaton, Illinois 


The Northeastern Illinois Agency on Aging was established in 1974. Services funded or coordinated by the Agency on Aging meet the diverse needs of the most rapidly growing population in Illinois. Over 520,900 seniors age 60 and over live in the agency's eight-county service area:

DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will Counties
Agency on Aging | 630-293-5990 | info@ageguide.org | http://www.ageguide.org
P.O. Box 809
Kankakee, IL 60901-0809