April 2012
In This Issue
A Message on Aging from Linda Siegel and Jonathan Lavin
AgeOptions and Partners in Hospital Transitions Program Receive Funding for Programs to Reduce Hospital Readmissions
More Veterans Enrolling in Consumer-Driven VIP Program
Area Plan Reflects Increase in Older Population
Spotlight: Anthony J. Perry, Vice Chair, AgeOptions Board of Directors
Celebrating Aging Moves to New Day and Location
Thanking Our Volunteers...
Advisory Council Member Betsy Essex Receives Oak Park Award
Statewide Elder Abuse Reports Increase
New Grants Manager, Chesareé Rollins
Never Too Old to Play! May is Older Americans Month





AgeOptions Board

of Directors 


Linda Siegel

University of Maryland School of Public Health



Dr. Anthony Perry

Rush University Medical Center

Vice Chairperson


Bob Brooks

Brooks & Robertson, LLP


Arlene Blaha

Autism Society of Illinois (Retired)


Tracy Bousky

Financial Strategy Network, LLC


Susan Cheng

SS&G Financial Services 


Mary E. Coonda

Social Security Administration


Joseph Gagliardo

Laner, Muchin, Dombrow, Becker, Levin & Tominberg Ltd.   


Cathy Gleason

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois


Murray Gordon

MAGA Ltd. Insurance


Kathleen Howe-Hrach

Credit Suisse Securities, LLC


Lewis Jordan

Affordable Housing Consultant


Frederick Karutz



Carmenza Millan

AARP Illinois


Donna Moore

American Cancer Society (Retired)


Rev. Kirsten Peachey

Advocate Health Care


Carla Rozycki

Jenner & Block LLP


Elizabeth Wells

Attorney at Law


Brad Winick

URS Corporation



Advisory Council 


J. Diane Adams-Alsberry



Merna K. Folkers

Vice Chairperson


Betsy Essex



Nan Anderson


Gina Baxter


Vaiju Dunung


Kelly Gilbert


Carol Goldbaum


Margaret Hastings


Andrea Hetzel


Timothy Hinsdale


Leah Hobson


Molly Hofer


Jacqueline Jones


Jerome Kenney


Charles Kerpec


Cheryl Kuba


Anna Marie McCall


Isaiah Poland


Ruth Reko


MC Robinson


Joan Strickland


Fran Tourdot


Patricia Walker


Leila Ward


Rose Zarnowski 



Staff Officers
Jonathan Lavin
President and CEO
Diane Slezak
Vice President and COO
Kim Blechschmidt
Secretary and 
Director, Planning, Program Design and Grants Management

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AgeOptions logo  

AgeOptions NOW is a publication of AgeOptions, a nonprofit organization. As the Area Agency on Aging of Suburban Cook County, AgeOptions serves  

130 communities within 30 townships.


  Linda Siegel 

Aging is a modern phenomenon that requires adaptation and possibly different expectations, life styles and plans than ever experienced before on this Earth. Nationally, some 10,000 people every day celebrate their 65th birthday as the group of 76 million persons born between 1946 and 1960 age into later life. The population age 55 to 64 is 73 percent greater than measured in the 2000 census.




AgeOptions and a group of community agencies have been awarded funding by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for programs to reduce hospital readmissions among people with Medicare.

More Veterans Enrolling in Consumer-Driven VIP Program 

The Veterans Independence Program (VIP) continues to grow and has nearly doubled its caseload since October, with 19 new veterans opting to take part in the consumer-directed program.

Area Plan Update Reflects Increase in Older Adult Population  

AgeOptions will soon release the annual update to the 2012-2014 Area Plan on Aging. The document does not have significant changes since this is an extension year, but it takes into consideration some noteworthy demographic changes revealed in the 2010 Census and the 2005-2009 American Community Survey also conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Spotlight: Anthony J. Perry, M.D., Vice Chair, AgeOptions Board of Directors


Anthony Perry


Anthony J. Perry, M.D., spends a lot of time looking ahead - at new ways of delivering health care at Rush University Medical Center, and at future trends and needs in aging as a member of the AgeOptions Board of Directors.


Celebrating Aging Event Moves to New Day and Location  


2012 Celebrating Aging Logo 

 Hyatt Regency Hotel Site

Celebrating Aging - Advocacy, Action, Answers on Aging, the eighth annual AgeOptions networking event and silent auction, will be Wednesday, September 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Crystal Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago. The event moves to a new day and location after outgrowing its previous location with 300 guests each of the last two years.




Thanking Our Volunteers 


"Celebrating People in Action" is the theme of this year's National Volunteer Week April 15 to 21. AgeOptions is taking the opportunity to thank our outstanding volunteers who in 2011 donated 3,300 hours to help make a difference in the lives of older adults in suburban Cook County. We could not achieve so much without their hard work and dedication.



Advisory Council Member Betsy Essex Receives Oak Park Award 

Betsy Essex


Elizabeth (Betsy) Essex, Ph.D., a member of the AgeOptions Advisory Council, has been named a Celebrating Seniors "60 Over 60" honoree for 2012.


Statewide Elder Abuse Reports Increase 

Reports of elder abuse and exploitation are increasing. According to Katie Schmit, AgeOptions Elder Rights Specialist, reports are up more than 13 percent statewide and more than 15 percent in suburban Cook County over this time last year. There were 1,428 cases reported between July 1, 2011, and March 31 of this year.


New Grants Manager, Chesare´┐Ż Rollins   


Chesaree Rollins

Chesare´┐Ż Rollins recently joined AgeOptions as Grants Manager, responsible for overseeing the performance of grantees, coordination of the grant-making process, reimbursement to grantees and the analysis of grantee program and fiscal information.


Never Too Old to Play! May is Older Americans Month


Older American Month Logo












When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays, the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) reports. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs.

Help Us Make a Difference... 


Last year AgeOptions and our community senior service partners made a difference in the lives of 201,487 older adults - a significant increase over the previous year. And we expect the need for our services and programs to continue to grow as the population of older adults increases every year.


Your donation to AgeOptions will help us continue to provide essential services that contribute to the well-being of our older neighbors and enable them to stay in their homes and communities.


Make your secure online contribution through PayPal and make a difference today.

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