The Aging Report
Home for the Holidays
Many people living in your community will likely find themselves helping a relative or friend manage their health and wellness. While providing care and support to a relative or friend can be difficult, long-distance care-giving can be particularly challenging. This is the reason the Agency on Aging Northeastern Illinois is participating in Home for the Holidays, an annual public education campaign led by the Eldercare Locator, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the U.S. Administration for Community Living, this year in partnership with the National Alliance for Caregiving.
In response to numerous requests from members of our community who provide some form of care to loved ones who do not live nearby, the Agency on Aging Northeastern Illinois is participating in the Home for the Holidays campaign to support these long-distance caregivers with tips, tools and resources that can assist them as they care for their relatives and friends—no matter where they live.
Most caregivers support family members by helping them manage long-term physical conditions, arrange medical appointments or secure in-home services—all while not living near the care recipient. Our programs support caregivers—including long-distance caregivers—and provide them with needed tools and resources that enable them to better care for their loved ones.

The Agency on Aging Northeastern Illinois offers a variety of support options for caregivers. For more information about local resources available for older adults and their caregivers, contact us at (800) 528-2000.
Do you need someone to talk to?
The Friendship Line is a toll-free line that is available to share a conversation with someone who cares. If you are feeling lonely this holiday season, call the Friendship Line and the person on the other line will love to share a conversation, listen to your story or concern and just lend an ear to those in need. The Friendship Line is also a crisis intervention hotline providing around the clock crisis support services including:

  • Suicide intervention
  • Providing emotional support
  • Elder abuse prevention and counseling
  • Giving well-being checks
  • Grief support through assistance and reassurance
  • Information and referrals
Call the Friendship Line any time, day or night, at (800) 971-0016

The Friendship Line is the Institute on Aging's 24-hour toll-free accredited crisis line for persons aged 60 years and older, and adults living with disabilities.
Large Turnover in Illinois General Assembly in 2019
The Illinois General Assembly that will take office in January will include fifty new members: 15 in the Senate and 35 in the House of Representatives. Those totals include eleven who had been appointed during the 100 th General Assembly and were elected for the first time in November, 2018. One of those positions is still to be filled: the Senate seat in the 13 th District, which Kwame Raoul had filled until his recent election as Illinois Attorney General.
Among these newcomers will be six Senators and 17 House members who will represent some portion of the eight counties served by the Northeastern Illinois Agency on Aging. This group includes Senators-elect Elgie Sims, Jr. (D, Senate District 17); Laura Ellman (D, 21); Suzy Glowiak (D, 24); Craig Wilcox (R, 32); Donald DeWitte (R, 33); and John R. Curran (R, 41). The new Representatives from the eight-county service area will be Nick Smith (D, House District 34); Debbie Meyers-Martin (D, 38); Amy Grant (R, 42); Diane Pappas (D, 45); Deanne Mazzochi (R, 47); Terra Costa Howard (D, 48); Karina Villa (D, 49); Mary Edly-Allen (D, 51); Jonathan Carroll (D, 57); Bob Morgan (D, 58); Daniel Didech (D, 59); Tom Weber (R, 64); Dan Ugaste (R, 65); Jeff Keicher (R, 70); Anne Stava-Murray (D, 81); and John Connor (D, 85).

New energy, and new ideas will be invigorating as these newly elected legislators learn the ropes and establish new relationships with their constituents.

Advocates for older adults, and especially those with new House or Senate members representing them, should make it a point to meet their legislators and urge them to support the interests of older adults. Let them know that the Agency on Aging Northeastern Illinois is working on behalf of older adults and hopes to establish strong working relationships with state legislators.

Also ask them to watch their email for an invitation to an Advocacy Breakfast Collaborative hosted by the Agency on Aging Northeastern Illinois and AARP, now being scheduled for January and February.
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is an employment training program for individual’s ages 55 years and better. The program provides participants 20 hours per week of on-the-job training opportunities, at local nonprofits or government agencies, that assist in the development of new and marketable job skills to help you re-enter the workforce. All program participants receive a subsidized hourly wage for training to help offset costs associated with travel to and from their training sites. If you are interested in more information or enrolling in SCSEP, please contact Glenda Love at the Agency on Aging Northeastern Illinois at
New Medicare Advantage Enrollment and Disenrollment Period
Starting in 2019, Medicare Advantage plan enrollees will have a longer and more flexible opportunity to change their coverage. The new period, from January 1 to March 31, will allow Medicare Advantage enrollees either to leave their plan and return to original fee-for-service Medicare, with an option to join a standalone drug plan, or they can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. This gives them the option to try out the Medicare Advantage plan they originally selected, and either to switch plans or to revert to fee-for-service Medicare if they find their original Medicare Advantage plan was not well suited to their needs.
This new period for both enrollment and disenrollment replaces a shorter period only for Medicare Advantage disenrollments. That period last only from January 1 to February 15, during which a Medicare Advantage enrollee could disenroll and return to fee-for-service Medicare, but could not switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.

Medicare Advantage enrollees who are interested in this option may seek help from the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP), which provides free and objective advice and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. Call the Agency on Aging at (800) 528-2000 for a referral to a local SHIP site.
Wishing You the Best This
Holiday Season
The Agency on Aging Northeastern Illinois would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season and peaceful and prosperous new year!

The Agency on Aging will be closed from December 25th through January 1st. We will re-open Wednesday, January 2nd at 8:30 AM.
The Agency on Aging Northeastern Illinois 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 654,000 seniors age 60 and over live in the agency's eight-county service area:

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

Agency on Aging | 630-293-5990 |  |
P.O. Box 809
Kankakee, IL 60901-0809

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