May 2018
Diane Slezak Named to Succeed Jonathan Lavin
As AgeOptions President and CEO

Diane Slezak
Diane Slezak will succeed Jonathan Lavin as president and chief executive officer of AgeOptions. Diane, who has been with the agency since 1976, will assume her new role on November 1, according to Brad Winick, chairperson of the AgeOptions Board of Directors.

Jon has been chief executive officer since 1978 and is retiring at the end of October. 


Again, Time to Start Planning and Advocating for Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act
  
Jonathan Lavin
By Jonathan Lavin
AgeOptions President and CEO
 
I attended the annual National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) Policy Briefing and Capitol Hill Day April 18 and 19 in Washington, D.C. As usual the topics were current, challenging and important to aging services in Illinois.
 
Most of the Washington attention was on the remarkable budget agreement between Congressional leaders and the White House. Domestic programs received significant increases under the legislation and new initiatives were included in the bill as well. One important component of the legislation was the establishment of the Chronic Care Act.
AgeOptions Working with Partners to
Reduce Elder Hunger by Streamling
SNAP Application Process

"Sometimes, I feel as if maintaining my mother's SNAP benefits is a full-time job," says Gayle, who is the primary caregiver for Ruth, her mother. Ruth is in her 80s and has dementia and a host of other problems. Her meager Social Security benefit isn't enough for her to get by, and Gayle often has to pay out of her own pocket for Ruth's basic necessities.
 
SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, helps individuals and families by providing a monthly benefit to purchase groceries. However, the process to apply for and stay on SNAP isn't easy.

New 
Board Member Brings Business and
Senior Services Expertise to Role  


Mitchell Abrams
Like AgeOptions, Mitchell Abrams works to help older adults stay independent in their own homes. His company, Homewatch CareGivers, assists elders and their families to identify needs and find resources and providers of services such as home care, companion care and meals.
 
Metropolitan Asian Family Services Presents
Community Service Award to Jonathan Lavin


Metropolitan Asian Family Services (MAFS) presented its 2018 Community Service Award to Jonathan Lavin, AgeOptions president and CEO. The award was for Jon's "dedicated, continued support and advocacy on behalf of the ethnic elderly population through various public benefits programs."
 
Jon was the keynote speaker at the May 10 MAFS Mini Fundraiser supporting programs for older adults and celebrating Asian Heritage Month.
 
MAFS has positively impacted more than 10,000 older adults in 11 counties. The nonprofit was incorporated in 1993 to provide comprehensive and integrated services to the community at large. MAFS is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic organization with a commitment to educate, assist and empower the immigrant community to adjust to life in the United States and become productive members of society.

New Medicare Cards Are Being Mailed
Here's What You Need to Know


It's no secret that the valuable red, white and blue Medicare cards have a serious flaw: they carry an identification number that, in most cases, is the beneficiary's Social Security number. That puts people with Medicare at risk of fraud and identity theft.   Between April 2018 and April 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is mailing new cards to all people with Medicare. 
AgeOptions Hosts Diversity Training 



More than 150 professionals in the field of aging participated in the AgeOptions Diversity and Inclusion in Aging training May 8. The program at Dominican University was designed to cultivate increased awareness in serving different cultures in consideration of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, race, gender and age. Speakers discussed how best to promote cultural humility and collaboration in accessibility of home and community-based services for the diverse aging population.
Celebrating Older Americans for 55 Years

Older Americans Month has been observed for 55 years to recognize older Americans and their contributions to our communities. Led by the Administration for Community Living's (ACL) Administration on Aging, every May offers opportunities to hear from, support and celebrate the nation's elders.  


SMP Hosts Statewide Conference in Peoria

Illinois SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) at AgeOptions hosted its first statewide conference for volunteers and partner agencies May 10 in Peoria. Twenty-four SMP coordinators and volunteers took part in the event at the
Peoria Public Library. 

Pictured here left to right: Jesus Armando Enriquez and Bailey Huffman, AgeOptions; Judy Klein, Midland Area Agency on Aging; Tamara Foote, AgeSmart Community Resources; Lori Cummins, Midland Area Agency on Aging; and Peggy Tully and Jason Echols, AgeOptions.
Jonathan Lavin Receives Award at MMW Summit

J onathan Lavin, AgeOptions president and CEO, received an award for his dedicated service at the April Make Medicare Work (MMW) Summit. The April 20 Summit was led by Smart Policy works.
Jon Lavin, center, with John Jansa and Barb Otto of Smart Policy Works
Approximatel y 100 professionals, including social workers, accountants, lawyers, volunteers, counselors, nurses and others took part in the Summit along with several AgeOptions staff members.

Peggy Tully, AgeOptions health care and fraud information specialist, gave a Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) presentation with updates about the new Medicare card.



Eldercare Locator Has a New Website Address

Eldercare Locator's website address has changed because of federal security mandates, according to the Administration for Community Living (ACL). The website address had been eldercare.gov and is now https://eldercare.acl.gov .

ACL's Eldercare Locator  connects users to trustworthy services, from transportation and housing options to financial and legal assistance, for older adults and their families in local communities.

The automatic redirect of the old website address to the new one was recently retired. Please update your favorites or bookmark the website: https://eldercare.acl.gov . You can also call (800) 677-1116 for the new address.


Sponsorships and Advertising Opportunities
Are Available for Celebrating Leadership:
You Can Help AgeOptions Serve Older Adults

On October 18, AgeOptions will host our 14th annual fundraising event - Celebrating Leadership - from 6 to 9 pm in the beautiful Crystal Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Last year's event, attended by more than 350 guests, raised more than $100,000 that directly benefits programs and services for older adults.  Last year AgeOptions served more than 155,000 older adults and caregivers through our network of community agencies. 

You can help ensure we continue to meet the needs of our growing older adult population by participating in this year's event.