Wrapping up the old... 
                      welcoming the new!
December 2015

The year 2015 is officially coming to an end and what a year it has been! The ups and downs of this past year have taken us all for a bit of a ride, not only those working in the senior industry and community, but for our seniors themselves. We propose a  toast to new beginnings and a brand new year. May 2016 prove to be a year that provides and nourishes the community in which we strive so hard to protect on a daily basis. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season...Merry Christmas and a healthy & happy New Year!

From all of us at The Agency on Aging to you & yours... Cheers!

Capacity Building is Vital to Meet the Demands of an Expanding Aging Society
-Marla Fronczack, Community Planning Manager

Over 610,000 adults 60 years and older live in our eight-county planning and service area. This planning and service area is reflective of the national and state demographic pressures on how to meet the demands of an expanding aging society. Over the next 20 years the proportion of the U.S. population over age 60 will dramatically increase and by the year 2030, in just fifteen years, older Americans will be almost 20% of the U.S. population. While there is no reason to panic, there are many reasons to plan and we plan to meet these challenges by building our capacity through partnerships, program expansion and leadership.
Consistent with national trends to enhance the partnership between aging and disability services, the Agency on Aging further integrated its Aging and Disability Resource Network (ADRN) by designating its Care Coordination Units and Centers for Independent Living as ADRN Core Partners to deliver a "no wrong door" network of access to long term support service information and assistance. Seeking information and services is often a daunting task for older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers. The ADRN is visible, accessible, consumer focused, inclusive and supportive in order to facilitate ease of access into the system no matter what the individual's or family's economic or social need. The system will also focus on capacity building for "no wrong door" access for people with dementia and their family caregivers through information, assistance and referral.
The Agency continues to strengthen its successful partnership with the Veterans Administration to administer the Illinois Veterans Independence Program (VIP) which provides Veterans Directed Home & Community Based Services to eligible veterans at risk of nursing home placement. The Agency is seeking new partnerships with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, townships and food pantries to help alleviate senior hunger.  
The expansion of the Long Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman and Adult Protective Services (APS) programs is meeting the increasing need to protect vulnerable older adults. The LTC Ombudsman program expanded its advocacy role to serve Managed Care Long Term Support Services' older adult and disabled clients from ages 18-59 by assisting these clients in navigating the complexities of managed care and being a voice to beneficiary concerns. The Adult Protective Services program is expanding its capacity by fostering community responses to help self-neglect clients who are unable to attend to their basic needs.
The Agency's leadership recognizes the importance of these and other key programs that help older Americans remain independent and improve their quality of life. We are committed to expand our capacity to meet the increasing need this demographic shift will bring for home and community based services (HCBS) that provide financial, health and social supports so older adults have the opportunity to age in place with dignity and independence.

-Mimi Bajagich Special Events

The 20th Annual Senior Lifestyle Expo was held August 25 and 26 . With a fun Hollywood movie theme and plenty to see, do and learn, there was just about something for everyone! This event is the largest and most comprehensive expo for seniors in the area. It featured live entertainment, educational seminars, a game show challenge, senior food drive, an evening session for caregivers and the opportunity to connect with over 125 organizations and businesses. Two annual competitions, Senior Idol and Writing Challenge, gave seniors the chance to show off their talents and really shine!
Then on November 1, it was time for the 24th Annual Celebrity Chefs Brunch. The stage was set for fun as the Hollywood theme continued! Emcee Andy Avalos, NBC5 Morning Meteorologist led us through a great and successful event. Over $123,000 was raised for the Holiday Meals on Wheels program! The menu was mouthwatering with our talented chefs once again proving that they are the best of the best! Guests bid on great items in the auctions, tried their luck at the raffles and enjoyed wine and beer tastings. We are so very appreciative of sponsors, guests, donors, volunteers and supporters who made this a great year!
Kendall County Forum, November 2015
-Ginnie Moore, MS, RDN, LDN
Community Planner/Health Educator

On Monday, November 9th, over 65 people attended the Kendall County Legislative Forum on Aging and Disability Issues held at the Beecher Center in Yorkville, IL.  The event was a successful exchange of information and ideas in the true spirit of the democratic process. The morning focused on legislative issues of importance to seniors and persons with disabilities. U.S. Congressman Randy Hultgren, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, and State Representatives Stephanie Kifowit, Keith Wheeler, and Mark Batinick made time in their schedules to attend the event.
Informative presentations on topics of Housing, Caregiving, and Transportation were given respectively by Bette Schoenholtz, Executive Director, Senior Services Associates; Donna Copelandhill, Community Planner, Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging; and Paul LaLonde, Interim Associate Director, Voluntary Action Center.  Each speaker illustrated the numbers and facts presented with a poignant example of real people who depend on the services and supports of the senior network.
Following the presentations, each legislator spoke providing insight into the legislative process and perspective on the current status of many issues important to seniors and persons with disabilities. U.S. Congressman Hultgren gave an informative glimpse into the federal legislative process. State legislators spoke from the viewpoint of the State Senate and House of Representatives.
The morning concluded with a luncheon courtesy of Senior Services Associates, Kendall Service Providers, and Kendall TRIAD with dessert provided by Jennings Terrace. Other providers of morning refreshments included Fitzsimmons Hospital Services, Kendall Area Transit, Heritage Woods & Community Nutrition Network. John Wyeth, of Wyeth Law and member of Kendall Service Providers, moderated the event. Agency on Aging is honored to have coordinated this event as advocacy for seniors and persons with disabilities.
All I want for Christmas is an Illinois State Budget! 
-Lucia West Jones, Executive Director

HOME is where we should be able to prosper and feel safe. HOME is where I am most comfortable and the spot that I am most likely to defend to my death! ILLINOIS is my home and for most of you reading this, Illinois is your home, too! Now I ask you, do you want to live and die here? Do you feel safe and prosperous here? Are you comfortable enough to defend Illinois to your death? If your answer is no or you are the least bit hesitant to respond, it is probably connected in some way to the Illinois state budget.... Or the lack of a State budget.The Governor and the leaders of the Illinois General Assembly have dug their heels in and tossed holiday compassion along with compromise into the wind! This budget impasse is threatening our safety, our prosperity, and our comfort. We, the people, cannot be happy with or passive about that!

For many the holidays will be anything but happy.... Countless low-income families, children, older adults and persons with disabilities will see the holiday season as just another string of days without services and filled with future uncertainties. Already community action agencies are reducing staff and hours of operation, cutting energy assistance programs and interventions for the homeless and victims of domestic violence. The longer the budget impasse lasts, the deeper the erosion to human services. Financial reserves will be exhausted, lines of credit will be maxed-out, staff will be laid off, hours and days of operation will be reduced, and finally doors will close.
Last year, home delivered meals postponed or prevented the institutionalization of more than 87,000 homebound elderly. Adult protective service providers will not have the staff or resources to investigate an estimated 19,000 reports of alleged abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Those suffering from mental illnesses may not be able to obtain stabilizing medications.

Please join me in urging the Governor and the General Assembly to ACT NOW to resolve their political differences and enact a State budget. NO action has terrible consequences for all of us, especially for our fellow citizens at greater risk. Let us raise our voices for those who cannot speak for themselves. Governor Rauner, House Speaker Madigan, Senate President Cullerton, and all our elected officials, come to the table of compromise and adopt a budget for the people of Illinois. That's the best holiday gift you can give to your constituents! 


Lucia West Jones, CEO
Northeastern Illinois Agency on Aging

Something to think about............

Stay Connected
It's NEVER too early to start planning for tomorrow!


42nd Annual Meeting


21st Annual
Senior Lifestyle Expo


25th Annual
HMOW Celebrity Chefs Brunch

For more information, contact Kaitie or Mimi


Retirement is not "golden" for all older adults.

Over 23 million Americans aged 60+ are economically insecure-living at or below 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL) ($29,425 per year for a single person).

These older adults struggle with rising housing and health care bills, inadequate nutrition, lack of access to transportation, diminished savings, and job loss. For older adults who are above the poverty level, one major adverse life event can change today's realities into tomorrow's troubles.

-Senior Facts, ncoa.org

Older American Services
The budget impasse, proposed reductions in funding, and proposed eligibility changes to Illinois Medicaid Waiver services are making it increasingly difficult to address the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens-older adults, persons with disabilities and family caregivers. There is value in supporting home and community-based services that positively impact quality of life for these citizens. We need to work together to be part of the solution while continuing to meet the needs of these citizens who want to remain in the community.
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