The Aging Report

January 2023

Curbing Rising Debt for Older Adults: A Call to Action

Based on the recent 2021 U.S. Census report, poverty is on the rise for older adults who were the only group that saw an increase in poverty rates this past year. Millions of people 65 and older are struggling with high-risk debt, and unfortunately the numbers and level of debt are escalating.

As a response, RRF Foundation for Aging released a Call to Action to address the burden of debt older adults face. Those with debt and fixed incomes are more likely to face consequences such as bankruptcy, financially catastrophic health events, and financial scams. These harmful consequences threaten to further undermine the already fragile financial security of many older adults. 

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Advocacy Corner: Federal Budget Update & Upcoming Advocacy Events

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The dramatic saga is now over and the House has a Speaker – Kevin McCarthy. In the 15th ballot, McCarthy finally became the next Speaker and the House can now begin to legislate. There were considerable concessions made by McCarthy to get the votes he needed including an agreement to cap discretionary spending at fiscal 2022 levels. If that happens, that will slice over $130 billion, or 8 percent, from levels in the recently enacted omnibus spending law. 

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Health Update

As COVID numbers continue to rise this winter, many of us are feeling burned out and frustrated by the ongoing polarized discord around the topic of vaccines and recommended safety protocols. If you’re feeling this way, it may be time for some new conversation strategies. COVID-19 has not been an easy pill to swallow, and it is often hard to talk to others who have different opinions. A unique campaign from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The University of Minnesota and was developed to help. #NoJudgment is a toolkit that offers resources and tools to de-escalate conversations around the COVID-19 vaccine and offer trustworthy information on common vaccine concerns and strategies to engage people.

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Listen to our New Podcast Episode

In this series of our podcast, we want to shine a light on the commitment and dedication of the more than 44 million family caregivers in the United States who provide personal assistance to older adult loved ones and those with disabilities. Finding respite care and support can provide a vital break for weary caregivers. It can also come in the form of quality programming to engage the care recipient and feed the soul of the caregiver. 

In our next episode we explore a creative program offering just this type of support. We’ll interview John and Sandy Miller, the Artistic Director and CEO of the Sounds Good Choir to learn how this unique choir offers respite to caregivers of all ages while helping people with dementia and other disabilities connect to music and artistic expression. We’ll also introduce our new Caregiver Specialist, Caitlyn Tolentino to share other resources and supports for caregivers. And of course, you’ll get to hear clips from the Sounds Good Choir woven throughout the episode. We hope that this leaves you with a song in your heart and a better understanding of the difference caregiver and dementia support programs can make. 

Follow us on Instagram, YouTube and listen to our podcast on your favorite streaming platform. 

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Interesting Additional Resources

Justice in Aging hosted a webinar surrounding racial disparities in nursing facilities and ways to address them. Follow this link to access the slides and watch the webinar recording.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, proposed a new rule that improves protections for people with Medicare, expands access to behavioral health care, and promotes equity in coverage. Read the article to learn more.

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AgeGuide Northeastern Illinois, an Area Agency on Aging, was established in 1974. Services funded or coordinated by AgeGuide meet the diverse needs of the most rapidly growing population in Illinois. Over 725,000 adults age 60 and over live in the agency's eight-county service area:

DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties

AgeGuide | (630) 293-5990 | [email protected] |

1910 S. Highland Ave, Suite 100

Lombard, IL 60148

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