Welcome to 2017
February 2017


The February winds bring along lots of change, not only to our nation but to our great state as well. February 1st, marks the 19th month that the state of Illinois has gone without a balanced budget..without a budget at all. In the wake of so much uncertainty.....we, in the aging services network, continue to hold our heads high in search of that bright horizon. That glimmer of hope that will let us know that "times they are a changing", but this time the change is for the better. Spring is on the horizon, and so is the hope for a new day...one that is bigger, better, brighter, more secure and deeply more promising.

The ACA: How "Repeal and Replace" Would Impact Seniors and Medicare
-Loretto Cowhig
Community Planner
 
Replacing something with nothing is likely to be unsatisfactory, so opponents of the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, have been promising for years to repeal it and replace it with a better law. Some of the promises are wildly extravagant, such as assurances that a new law will offer wider and better coverage at lower cost both to enrollees and to the government. Sometimes the promise is to repeal and replace simultaneously, sometimes it is to repeal the ACA now but to delay its implementation for the repeal for several years - maybe until after the midterm election in 2018, or while legislators develop the replacement bill. Another strategy is to chip away at the ACA by repealing one provision at a time over a period of years, thus gradually shrinking costs, benefits, and the number of people covered.

Sometimes the focus is on keeping the ACA features that everyone likes, such as the ban on the exclusion of pre-existing conditions, while discarding unpopular features such as the universal mandate. But these and other features of the ACA are so interwoven that it is impossible to keep only the appealing parts. The mandates, restrictions, and other disliked features make the desirable parts possible. After Congress missed the January 27 deadline that some members had established, there has been talk of "repairing" the ACA, rather than repealing and replacing it.

To Read the Entire Article Click Here

Senior Medicare Patrol
-excerpt from AgeOptions Website

Have you or a loved one ever gotten a phone call from someone who said they were "from Medicare," but to send you a new Medicare card, they needed your Medicare number?

Have you ever seen something listed on your Medicare Summary Notice that you didn't receive?

Have you had an insurance agent sign you up for an insurance plan without your permission?

If any of these situations have happened to you, you have experienced health care fraud. Healthcare fraud is not your fault. Fraud occurs in every city, in every state, every day. Scam artists will do anything to gain our trust, and even the most sensible consumers can get 'scammed.' All areas of Medicare are subject to fraud. In our area Home health fraud is the most reported area of Medicare fraud.

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program empowers consumers to prevent healthcare fraud. Program staff and volunteers help people with Medicare and Medicaid to:

1) PROTECT themselves from Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.
2) DETECT Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.
3) REPORT Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.

Volunteers with Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program are working to ensure fewer people become victims of health care fraud. Volunteers are equipped with training and support from the Illinois SMP Program and its partners, SMP volunteers provide outreach and education in their communities. SMP volunteers give presentations to groups, host exhibits at community events, and provide one-on-one counseling, volunteers help spread the message of Protect, Detect, and Report.

The Illinois SMP Program is administered by AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging for Suburban Cook County. AgeOptions works with several other agencies to provide information about healthcare fraud in Illinois. 

You can also learn more about fraud in Illinois by signing up for our SMP Fraud Alert SMP Fraud Alert   emails

For more information on SMP Click Here 
 
Please contact our agency SMP Volunteer Coordinator Glenda Love (Email Here) for inquiries regarding volunteer opportunities or to get information on receiving a presentation.

AMERICAN HEART MONTH, 2017
- Ginnie Moore
Community Planner
 
February is the month of Valentine's Day and it's also a good time to think about heart health. Having a heart healthy lifestyle can help prevent heart disease. Making small changes in eating habits, physical activity, and lifestyle choices can add up to big benefits for heart health.

Aim to eat well-balanced meals that include all food groups. Be mindful of portion sizes and limit snacks. Of particular concern to heart healthy nutrition are sodium and fat. Excess sodium may contribute to high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease. It's easy to identify salty-tasting foods high in sodium such as chips and pretzels, but be aware of hidden sodium in processed foods. Cold cuts, cured meats, pizza, soup, breads and rolls, processed breaded chicken products, burritos, and tacos are all surprisingly high in sodium. Look for lower sodium versions of these foods and limit portions.
Dietary fats are also of concern with heart health.

The American Heart Association recommends between 20 and 35% of calories should come from fats. Saturated and trans fats are known to be associated with increased LDL cholesterol and increased risk for heart disease. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Saturated fat is most often from animal products such as beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, butter, cream, cheese and other dairy products from whole or 2% milk. Plant based saturated fats include coconut, coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter. Trans fats are liquid oils processed into shelf stable solid fats. Look for "partially hydrogenated oil" in foods labels to identify foods containing processed trans fats. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are a heart healthier option. Keep in mind, the calories in all fats are equal so even healthy fats should be consumed in moderation.

To Read the Entire Article Click Here

Welcome Back Colette Jordan! 
-Marla Fronczak
Community Planning Manager
 
The Agency on Aging is delighted to welcome back Colette Jordan to the Community Planning Division. Colette's specialty areas include providing leadership and assistance in the development and delivery of services for the Family Caregiver Support Program, Older Americans Act Title IIIB and E Counseling, Title IIIB and E Legal Assistance and Title IIIB Transportation. Colette is also the community liaison to Lake and McHenry counties.

Before stepping into the roles of her predecessor Donna Copeland-Hill, Colette was one of four Transition Engagement Specialists for the Money Follows the Person program where she conducted assessments for Medicaid long term care residents with physical and mental health impairments to determine eligibility to transition back to the community with services and supports in DuPage County.

Colette works tirelessly to making sure that older adults can live with dignity and respect as highlighted in her previous DuPage County Senior Services positions in the areas of Information and Assistance, Senior Case Management, Choices for Care and ultimately Transition Coordinator for the Money Follows the Person Program.

Her compassion for others is further demonstrated in her volunteer work with Donate Life Illinois as Outreach and Advocacy Volunteer Leader for DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties. In this role, she has recruited and trained nearly 100 local volunteers to promote organ donation registrations at area hospitals, health fairs, colleges, businesses, and 5K walks.
While Colette has some big shoes to fill at the Agency on Aging, she is eager to learn and to excel in performing her new responsibilities. We are confident that she will bring her signature enthusiasm and empowerment to making sure that older adults, their caregivers and families in Northeastern Illinois get the services and supports they need.

Congratulations Donna Copeland-Hill!
- Marla Fronczak
Community Planning Manager

Donna Copeland Hill has transitioned into a newly created position as a part-time Health Educator for the Agency on Agency. She will assist Ginnie Moore in promoting, maintaining, and improving individual and community health by assisting individuals to adopt healthy behaviors and community-based organizations to deliver health promotion activities and programs. This position coordinates activities under the Older Americans Act Title III D evidence-based health promotion programs as described by Federal and State directives. As a Health Educator she represents the interests of the Agency on Aging and the populations it serves before all private and public entities to promote healthy aging in America.

Donna is a Master Trainer in the evidenced-based Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) and facilitates leader trainings and workshops for older adults in the Illinois' Take Charge of Your Health: Live Well, Be Well (CDSMP) and Take Charge of Your Diabetes (DSMP). She is also a Master Trainer in the evidenced-based falls prevention program A Matter of Balance and conducts leader trainings and workshops for older adults in our eight county planning and service area.

In Donna's previous position at the Agency on Aging, she was instrumental in successfully developing and rolling out the Title IIIE Caregiver support programs.   In her tenured role, she has become our in-house expert in understanding and identifying the needs of caregivers, grandparents raising grandchildren and those coping with dementia-related disorders. We are privileged to share her knowledge and talents to promote healthy aging in Northeastern Illinois.  

Something to think about...
Happenings
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Don't Miss Out!

43rd Annual Meeting
April 7, 2017

Arrowhead Golf Club
Wheaton, IL

For information or to make a reservation, contact Kaitie or Mimi
630-293-5990

Public Hearing Date:

May 31, 2017

For more information   
815-939-0727 
 
  It's NEVER too early to mark your calendars!

SAVE THE DATES!

22nd Annual Senior Lifestyle Expo
(see below)
&
26th Annual Holiday Meals on Wheels Celebrity Chefs Brunch
(see below) 

For more information, contact Kaitie or Mimi
630.293.5990 
 
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Did You Know?

- A blog update
ASA's Network on (NEST) Environments, Services & Technologies

By: Philip B. Stafford, PhD, Chair, NEST

"Nearly 20% of the population of the U.S. has one or more disabilities. Of the 57 million individuals living in the community with a disability, 52% are age 18-64 and 40% are over the age of 65. By 2050, the 65+ group will comprise 20% of the entire population. Following two steps behind, the millennial segment is even larger than the baby boomer group. Needless to say, the aging of our society will undoubtedly bring about significant social change.

A dreaded "silver tsunami" view of change remains ubiquitous, yet, a ripe opportunity to turn this so-called catastrophe on its head provides a much more optimistic picture. As Marc Freedman writes:

"Our enormous and rapidly growing population-often portrayed as a burden to the nation and a drain on future generations-is in fact a vast potential social resource."

To Read the Entire Blog Click Here
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 634,000 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